Arsenal hire Sanllehi from Barcelona as head of football relations to aid Wenger

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The 48-year-old will bring an end to a lengthy period at the Catalan club to take on a role leading player negotiations with the London side

Arsenal have confirmed Raul Sanllehi will join the club from Barcelona to take over as head of football relations.

The 48-year-old will begin his new role leading player negotiations in February and will work alongside manager Arsene Wenger and Huss Fahmy, who was appointed contract negotiator in June.

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Sanllehi, who is credited with being a key role in signing Neymar, Luis Suarez and Alexis Sanchez for Barca, has spent 14 years at Camp Nou and will leave when his contract expires on December 1.

His role at the Emirates Stadium will be similar to that previously held by transfer negotiator Dick Law, who formally left the club in September. 

“In the past three years we have supplemented our team with more top-class expertise across every aspect of our football operations,” chief executive Ivan Gazidis told the club’s website as the 48-year-old's appointment was confirmed.

"Raul’s appointment is another important step in developing the infrastructure we need at the club to take everything we do to the next level.

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“Raul has extensive contacts across the football world and has been directly involved in some of the biggest transfers in Europe in recent years. We look forward to him bringing that expertise to Arsenal.”

Sanllehi's appointment comes days after they named Sven Mislintat as the new head of recruitment.

Mslintat, 45, spent 10 years at Borussia Dortmund and is said to have identified the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Shinji Kagawa. 

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