Arsenal director of football operations steps down

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Arsenal‘s director of football operations Huss Fahmy has left Arsenal in the latest high-profile departure as part of the club’s restructuring.

Fahmy was hired in 2017 to add legal expertise to the club’s contract negotiations with both existing players and new signings.

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However, the Gunners have spent much of this year making significant changes to their internal operations, including the redundancies of 55 non-playing staff members and an overhaul of their scouting department before the sudden exit of head of football Raul Sanllehi in August.

Technical director Edu and manager Mikel Arteta — who had his job title changed from head coach last month — have since assumed greater influence in recruitment which led to what one source described as a “narrower remit” for Fahmy.

The former Team Sky executive has subsequently decided to move on in what a club spokesman insisted is an “amicable” departure. Fahmy will arrange his notice before leaving at the end of November.

Arsenal are expected to hire a replacement but Fahmy’s successor will have a less-encompassing position and therefore would not occupy a place on the executive team.

Although Fahmy was noted among Arsenal fans for his role in transfers, he was also responsible for overseeing a number of other areas including the travel department and operations at the club’s London Colney training base.

Sources say Edu has taken on some of those responsibilities and the club’s football arm will now be led by the Brazilian, Arteta and academy manager Per Mertesacker.

Although Arsenal have their own in-house legal team, Fahmy was credited with modernising the club’s approach to player contracts while also playing an influential role in the £27 million deal to sign William Saliba from Saint Etienne.

However, although Fahmy worked on the Gunners’ two major summer signings — Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid and Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille — it was Edu who led those discussions in conjunction with Arteta.

Fahmy’s successor will be expected to fill a supporting role to Edu as chief executive Vinai Venkatesham continues to lead a drive to streamline Arsenal’s off-field activity in an effort to cope with the financial impact of COVID-19.

Sources have told ESPN that corporate lawyer Tim Lewis, who was made a non-executive director of the club in July, has also been a key figure in examining the methodology of Arsenal’s transfer activity and expenditure.