‘We don’t select players based on their agent’: Arsenal chief Vinai Venkatesham dismisses ‘crazy’ concerns over links with super-agent Kia Joorabchian after signing clients David Luiz, Cedric Soares and Willian
- Arsenal’s Vinai Venkatesham has dismissed club’s links to Kia Joorabchian
- Eyebrows have been raised as the amount of work with the agent has increased
- Joorabchian represents David Luiz, Cedric Soares and summer arrival Willian
- He is also agent for Philippe Coutinho, who was heavily linked with Arsenal
Arsenal chief Vinai Venkatesham has dismissed concerns about the club’s links with Kia Joorabchian, insisting it would be ‘a crazy strategy’ to let an agent influence their transfer policy.
Super-agent Joorabchian is close to Arsenal’s technical director Edu, though not his agent, and also the club’s former head of football Raul Sanllehi.
And eyebrows have been raised as the amount of work Arsenal have done with Joorabchian has increased.
Agent Kia Joorabchian represents David Luiz (R), Cedric Soares and summer arrival Willian
He represents David Luiz, Cedric Soares and summer arrival Willian, brokering their moves to the Emirates and new deals for the first pair.
He also looks after Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho, another player heavily linked with a move to Arsenal.
Venkatesham said: ‘I am glad you asked the question. I see, read and absorb a lot of what is being said about how we work with agents.
‘We don’t select players based on the identity of their agent.
‘We select players based on the position we need to strengthen and the characteristics we are looking for in a player and if the player is out there who meets those characteristics.
‘Who the agent is comes out at the end, once we have decided who the player is. We are not signing players based on the identity of the agent. That would be a crazy strategy.’
Edu also explained Arsenal‘s major recruitment restructure this summer was planned because he wanted less people working with more responsibility.
Super-agent Joorabchian is close to Arsenal’s technical director Edu, though not his agent
Eyebrows raised as the amount of work Arsenal have done with Joorabchian has increased
A number of long-serving Arsenal scouts at senior and youth level and at home and abroad have departed the club in an overhaul of the department.
Among the exits was renowned global scout Francisco Cagigao, who unearthed the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Hector Bellerin and Gabriel Martinelli.
Technical director Edu said: ‘It is simple for me. With my position here I want to put in place one clear process how we are going to sign, who gets the responsibilities, where we start to understand where we need the player, the position we need, the characteristics we need. That has to be very clear internally right now.
‘The decision we made, to change a little bit our infrastructure, it is clear for me. I want to work with less people. I want to work with (data analytics company) StatDNA a lot more, which we have internally here at the club and is very important.
‘The people I want to work with, I want them to be very close to me. I want to create a group of people working together.
‘I don’t want individual people working in one area or for one country. I want a group working together. Less people with much more responsibilities.
‘That is my vision and for me in this process the most important thing is that everyone is very clear on the responsibilities which everyone has to make the right decision.’