Jan Oblak the ‘main objective’ of Arsenal’s new Definitely Not Director of Football


Arsenal new Head of Football Relations, otherwise known as Definitely Not Director of Football, Raul Sanllehi started work on February 1st after the announcement of his recruitment late last year.

It’s the latest in a series of behind the scenes appointments, including Sven Mislintat as Head of Recruitment – and the German was a key factor in the signings of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and young Greek defender Konstantinos Mavropanos.

Now it seems the Spaniard is keen to make his mark, as reports from Spain say he’s identified Atletico Madrid keeper Jan Oblak as a summer target for the Gunners.

With Petr Cech 36 and David Ospina likely to move on this summer, it’s an area which will require some investment, and Catalan outlet SPORT say that Sanllehi has made the recruitment of the Slovenian international his ‘main objective’.

The 48 year old is the man who will now act as negotiator for many of the club’s deals, taking over from Dick Law who – although his contract ended last September – had been retained on a consultancy basis and helped deal with Mesut Ozil’s new deal.

Oblak is very much the number one at Atletico, so it’ll take some good wheeling and dealing, and a fair chunk of money to make this one happen in the summer.

Let’s see.

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Runcorn Gooner

The new number 1 keeper at Juventus would be a good choice.

Too Drunk For Offside

Oblak & Simeone for $$$ + Wenger. I would do that deal for sure.


Better call Raul.

Askar arslan

Also one of the best goalkeepers in the world! Exciting times…


With a release clause larger than our total transfer budget. I would want nothing more that to sign that dude cause he’s so, so great but I don’t think we will.


These release clauses and prices can change dramatically. Its supply and demand. These are not fixed prices. Everything is negotiable. Problem with many here is they do not understand haggling. Its a market. Most likely his price will now go up because the attention from us has been publicised. The quieter we do things the better which is why Wenger is always tight lip. As soon as attention is brought and other clubs come into the hunt, the seller will be tempted to play hard ball. Remember how we did the Ozil deal. Most believed it was a ” PANIC… Read more »


I don’t know what is stunning the likes you actually have or this whole narrative of Ozil was the plan all along smh

Easy tiger

Dear god?

Glasgow Gooner

Agents touting their player status is far too common place to ever return to nods and winks.

Regardless of how tight lipped wenger was. Almost every other transfer we have been involved in has been dragged through the papers non stop.

Jimbo Jones

Wow… revisionism at it’s very best. Even Wenger said it was pure opportunism if I remember correctly


This deal is not possible.
Reminds me of the Mbappe rumours during the summer. We just dont have the financial muscle to do this, even if Atletico make him available.

Not Joe King

Especially now that the intentions have been made clear.


Can he also play DM?

Das boi

Yes please work your magic Dick

Das boi

Typo, *Sven*


”Raul”. ?


Although ‘work your magic Dick’ has a certain ‘je ne sais quoi quality’ to it.



Magic Dick got us Kolasinac for free and Alexis not to mention Ozil.

Just to remind you.

Kwame Ampadu Down

He did santori…and Ospina & Debuchy & Gabriel & Mustafi (for 35m!!!) & Elneny & Xhaka (for 35m too!!!) & Welbeck & Lucas…..
Just to remind you.


Woah woah woah….just had a thought here. The whole ‘frenchness’ of arsenal…amd all the psudo french we through around.. it all becomes defunct when wenger goes. Think of websites like le grove.

We’ve already shed all french stars that were part of that.once wenger goes i guess there will be…over time maybe…a de-frenching of arsenal. Until new fans just don’t get it at all…and then it fades away as our generation goes to the big highbury in the sky…


Nah. The magic dick was just right!

Group Captain Mandrake

That is a sentence desperately in need of a comma.

John C

Why the hell do we pander to Wenger’s ego to such an extent that we have to create stupid job titles like Head of football relations and not call him what he is which is director of football?

A Different George

What creativity! I was curious how you would turn this story into an anti-Wenger diatribe.

John C

Do you have an answer to the question?


Is it not just semantics? One man’s Director of Football is another’s Head of Football relations. This is a nothing complaint.

John C

But what does a Head of Football Relations do? Take footballs out to dinner?


My old school used to have a head janitor, now they have a utilities manager and a team of maintenance employees. Go figure.

Granit(e) hard!

…and my local council also use to have ‘rubbish collectors’, now they have ‘Waste Disposal and Sanitation Engineers’….figure that one out too

Tasmanian Jesus

Well what is a Director of Football?
Someone who direct footballs?

Original Paul

No, that would be a director of footballs.


Then there’d loads of mitres tweeting #meToo

Dave M

Yeah only the best director of football can handle multiple balls at once. Most just stick to one at a time


What do they call them at Chelsea?


Roman’s patsies?


Mmm, Roman pasties!


Head of Tapping up, Director of Bungs

Original Paul

No, they take the players relations out to dinner obviously! Keep up John C… 🙂


What does a ‘director of football’ do?

Make stop-motion animated films starring footballs?

Robins Boost

the Director of Football in a football club has the same responsibilities as a Director in any company. They come in once a month to have coffee and talk shit at board meetings, and create retrenchment plans.

JJs Bender

John mate, it’s friday, chill. Relax from the hate campaign

John C

And it’s not a nothing complain, do you not think it’s unhealthy that our managers supposed superiors can’t go about their business and employ roles within the club to industry accepted roles without fear of causing offence? Do you think it represents a normal functioning relationship?

I don’t, i think it’s disfunctional

Original Paul

Welcome to UK business HR mate. 🙂


It’s an interesting observation/point of discussion, but, no, for me I don’t think it warrants complaint.


But how do you know the narrative above represents reality? So why be so angry about the whole thing?


AFC was looking for a Director of Football in 2007 and we consequently hired Gazidis and named him CEO.
Getting a ‘Director of Football’ would kinda insinuate that the individual who was hired last time AFC was looking for a DoF was not competent.

Wenger mocked DoF title… Yes he did. Wenger and Gazidis get on?


Yes. It won’t be much longer now. And also, sometimes messages can be delivered indirectly. Welcome to grownup world.


What difference does it make what they call the positions?

John C

P.S i’m flattered that you think about me 🙂


Just living up to your name eh, John Cunt?

John C

Does A P stand for A Prick?

Indian Gooner

Watch out with those words boys. No personal attacks.


The C either stands for Chelsea or Chav……or Cunt, I see your point.

Original Paul

Well that escalated quickly! 🙂


I’d love to hear a dialogue between John C and Fatgooner. Wonder who would outlast, outwit, outplay each other

Turn Over LaCazette

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I understood Director of Football to be a relatively new role, at least with regards to premier league clubs. I thought the reason they were called DoF as opposed to head of transfers or something was to protect the ego of the managers.

Not to mention that the role itself differs between each club, maybe head of football relations is a more accurate description of his duties.


You Chelsea fans sure are salty lately.


Following David Dein’s departure as vice‑chairman in 2007, Arsenal sought to appoint a director of football. Wenger was put in charge of the process and he said on July 17 of that year: “I wanted to do it before the end of the season, when I started buying and selling but then I thought that now is the worst time because I have no time to tell someone how I want to do things. “I did not want to unsettle the team before the end of the transfer market. So at the moment I work with Ken Friar and it… Read more »


How is ‘director of football’ a good description of the role? It’s vague as fuck!


Isn’t vague as fuck usually the way we do things

Robins Boost

i’m more fascinated with the fact that we took 10+ years to come up with this name. imagine who we’d have signed over the last decade if someone at board level had just woken up with a light bulb over his head and thought to himself “that’s it! I’ll just name him Head of Football Relations!”. We’d have won the EPL, carabawanka cup, still won the FA cup, Charity Shield, the Champions League, World Club Cup, Serie A, La Liga, Bundasliga, and the French League. Man, we might even have won the NBA if we had kept Chamakh and Giroud,… Read more »


It’s an improvement in the structure. They could call it jell-o salad for all I care.


Jell-o salad sounds nasty though


Ahh.. john c, I see you’re back here again with your wenger hate.


I’ll be waiting, Raul. Cech badly needs a backup, just saying.


Backup? He needs to be replaced.


Replace by Ospina….at leqst til end of season


Cech needs to back up.


Hey cech, back the fuck up will ya?

Burn Baby Burn

Not as far behind the line as Ospina though


You want to buy one of the very best goalkeepers in the world and use him as backup to Petr Cech?

David C

Still can’t believe we sold Szcz….he’s doing amazing in Italy again this season.

Oblak is a really impressive keeper, hope this is true.

SB Still

Maybe after Wenger leaves, we’ll buy him back for twice the price!


Would still be worth the money, though.


Szcz would be around £50m+ in current market, given his age, form, stature of club, etc, regardless of the fact that he may like to return.


Agree. Dumbest bit of business in recent years (fair few examples to choose from).

Olivije Žirod

We had to sell Szczesny (+ Perez, Gabriel…) that we could sign Lacazette, Ozil and Sanchez.


Pérez is out on loan. Not sold.

Olivije Žirod

I know but they are paying his wages. The problem was wage bill. We had to lower it to sign new deals and other players.


Also Ozil and Sanchez were purchased before we had even signed Perez and Gabriel.

Olivije Žirod

I meant signing new contracts for them.


Yeah because he never fucked up. Honestly this revisionism is nonsense. He had a great chance but had insufficient challenge and got lazy and complacent. As a result he was replaced. It’s not as if he’s suddenly turned into the love child of Lev Yashin and Gordon Banks.


If both Cech and Ospina leaves in the summer, I’d love for Emi Martinez to be the backup to whoever we bring in. He’s big, calm and definitely more reliable than Ospina.


I’m sorry but I’ve not seen much that says he’s more reliable thsn ospina. That’s not a slight to martinez as ospina is a decent keeper who would be playing 1st choice for a mid table team in any of the top leagues.

Kwame Ampadu Down

Gudaffiduck….Ospina wanted to go in the summer. Arsenal were happy to let him go. He’s not on a huge salary in modern terms & Arsenal weren’t asking for a huge fee. He’s 28, a perfect age for a goalkeeper, should be reaching his prime.
An honest question : if he is good enough to be a first choice for a mid table team then why
did no-one buy him? (Or even try to buy him, there were virtually no rumours)


All valid points except saying Martinez is better than ospina at the moment is still a stretch. No doubt Martinez is a good talent but on the flip side this was a goalkeeper who only got 5 games for getafe, surely he’d have gotteb more game time if he were higher rated.

I’m just wondering how Martinez could be seen as reliable when he hasn’t really had consecutive games for us or any other higher loaned team in the better divisions.

Kwame Ampadu Down

May be true, I haven’t seen enough of Martinez if I’m honest. I just think there’s a real desire on this site to view Ospina as being better than he really is. It’s what you said about him rather than Martinez I was querying.

Ainsley\'s Mum

Also, isn’t Macey actually highly rated at the club? Martinez doesn’t seem to be able to buy a game on loan


Sorry but I’ve no5 seen much which says Sczesny is more reliable either.

Kwame Ampadu Down

Chesney Is a much better keeper than Ospina. Absolutely no question for me.


I hope they have some backup targets. Psg wants oblak and we won’t outbid them.


How about PSG’s current keeper?


You mean Areola? The guy is absolute garbage, no wonder Neymar Saint Germain is looking for a new goalie!

Indian Gooner

I read somewhere online that he has got an 85 million clause on his contract. Knowing how we muck around with our dealings.. I guess it would be better off for us start working on it straight away just so that we will have enough time to finish and the announce deal at 11:59 P.M on the deadline day of the next transfer window.
One hell of a signing it would be but it would be better off if we take it with a pinch of salt for now. Could be just media talks to keep us interested.


DO IT. It’s worth it even if he costs 100m.


Unfortunately, it really isn’t.


Oblak is one of the top two keepers in Europe, proven in the Champions League, and he’s got 7-8 good years left in his career.

Can we stop focusing on big numbers and remember how big a club we are? Any player whose signing will be the key to winning another title and challenging in Europe again is worth 100m. Easily.


Very good idea,Jan welcome to the Emirates ??


As a Slovenian I’ve (obviously) been watching him closely, and all I can say is go get him. Pay Atletico whatever they want, he’s absolutely brilliant. Funnily enough though, it was just yesterday when my brother and me talked about him as the number 1 candidate to replace De Gea at United if or when he leaves for Real Madrid, and that it would take a lot of money to get him because he IS that good, and Atletico fans love him. PSG have tried to get him on several occasions but Atletico always stood firm, so that says a… Read more »


Also, Szczesny is NOT coming back, I think it’s time we all get over it.

And as much as I love Woj, Oblak is another level.


This. I seriously do not understand why some fans keep fantasizing about Szczesny. We lost him the day he lit his own arse on fire in the shower. I mean seriously, who tries to light a cigarette when taking a shower ??


Yes please!


It feels like the club is finally heading towards some seriously interesting times. We had a great January window, if we focus on the other end of the pitch in the summer, no reason why we cannot be mounting a proper challenge next season.


This would be serious business and money, he’s in the same bracket as De Gea and Neuer…


Would be an unbelievable and much needed signing, add some steel to the midfield and things will start looking better. Would be an absolute dream if we looked into signing Radja Nainngolan as well, the guy is an absolute monster in the middle of the park


I wouldn’t hate Nainngolan as a signing, but would rather get a younger midfielder. I’ve seen a few Lazio games recently and this Sergej Milinkovic guy looks the real deal. Tall, strong, good in air, technically sound, creative. He looks to me to be a complete midfielder. Almost like a more mobile Matic with more tricks in his game

Man Manny

The New Arsenal slowly but surely emerging. Is Silent Stan in on this?


If he can he start a break from the box?
Get him in.



Oblak is an awesome goalkeeper and when/if he moves will probably smash the transfer fee record for a goalkeeper. It’s encouraging that we spotted him but unfortunately I see us getting priced out of any deal for him. He will either go to PSG, Madrid or United if Atletico part with him. It would be more practical for us to give one of Macey or Martinez the chance to prove their worth and keep the powder dry for that mythical world class defensive midfielder that we will surely buy one day.


just admit it was a huge mistake selling Szczesny and get him back


it was all down to Wenger, he can’t handle players with a bit of attitude. Plus why would he come back, he’s playing for the Italian Champs.


Every manager gets rid of players with attitude. We just got the Aub because he previous manager wanted rid of him, Balotelli floats around because managers get rid of him. Roy Keane, along with Vieira, was the best midfielder the PL has ever seen but as soon as he got too big for his boots Fergie got rid of him. Fergie got rid of Stam, Beckham. All managers do it

Ivan Drago

He was sent off on loan because of his attitude, fair enough. But he matured in Italy and improved as a keeper. If he’s good enough to take over from Buffon he’s good enough for Arsenal


I’m from Slovenia and Oblak is special, in my opinion top3 goalkeepers in the world. I think he has 100mil EUR release clause, so I don’t know how much chance Arsenal got, especially with PSG around.
Damn, I still remember his debut at age of 16 for my local club NK Olimpija, good memories.


Good and bad. Its OK to leverage on past contacts. BUT I’m not sure enough consideration has been given toward the balance of the team or strategic implications in making these deals happen. I think there was too much effort to make things happen the way they wanted. Did we do enough to keep Alexis away from United? Taking the UNited deal also meant Mhkitaryan was forced upon us. We may turn out to gain benefit from him but it reduced our space for manouver considerably. Similarly did we necessarily need another forward? Midfield was a priority and if anything… Read more »


Lol I can’t believe you are on the Mahrez crap still.

He couldn’t be had at 40-50M. Leicester asked for 95 and Man City said no. They offered 65 and Leicester said no. There was no where it said well Man City if you don’t cough up that 95 we will sell to Arsenal for 40. Lol

Leicester had no interest in selling him. So Arsenal wasn’t going to force them to sell for 40. Where do you get this crap from.


From outta his arse?


Alban Lafont would make more sense to me. Oblak would be fantastic of course, but with the amount of strengthening that needs to be done, I don’t think draining the accounts to get a GK is smart. Lafont is very young, but he starts for Toulouse. If we can squeeze one more (decent-ish) year out of Cech, and have Lafont learn as his #2 I like that much better. Who knows though, maybe Toulouse would want a fortune for him as well.


I think we should get anybody else but Cech. Zero saves from penalty kicks in 14 That tells you that you might’ve had better odds without a keeper in net.And definitely better ofds if you put one of us in net. Perhaps that’s the answer, let the fans take turns at penalty kicks. Szczesny was definitely not the answer. Way too prone to making mistakes at crucial moments. Even Poland dropped him for the same reason. I would’ve rather kept Fabianski. Oblak would be nice but there are plenty of guality English goalkeepers much better than Cech we could sign… Read more »

Ainsley\'s Mum

After aubameyang I actually have some hope we can pull this off.

Original Paul

When anyone starts in a new strategic role they always start with “picking the low hanging fruit”. An easy problem to solve for the new guy!


Now, this one would be another excellent signing. Let’s hope

Merlin\'s Panini

This would be a great purchase if it bears fruit. I still like Cech but he certainly can be upgraded on now. When you look at the rest of the top 6 they all (apart from Liverpool) have very great keepers. I think Cech was phenomenal in his prime but is clearly declining. He’s still making some incredible saves but there is a clumsiness that has appeared in his game. Whether that is age or lack of clear direction I’m not sure, but certainly Oblak is the outstanding keeper in the rest of Europe. This is certainly not a dull… Read more »

Rwandan gooner

Wenger, Steve Rowley and Dick Law’s triangle coming to a halt. They did a good job but been caught up by the reality of aging. New ideas and heads are welcome


I wish there was a poop-o-meter to this so I could give it a solid 10. No chance of this happening whatsoever.


lacazette to Atletico
Oblak to Arsenal

Petits Handbag

If true, amazing and exactly what we want. How’s about that manager too.


mattia perin look him up on YouTube. Play for mid table team. Could get him for 8 or 12 million. Number 2 Italy goalkeeper . Rated one of the best in Italy and only 25 years old.


If we sort out the defence Cech still has a couple of years in him. The best keepers the league ever seen, Schmeichel and Seaman, had good defence in front of them. When Wenger took over everybody asked how he was going to replace an ageing and fading back four of Adams, Bould, Winterburn and Dixon. What he did was put Vieira and Petit in front of them. Some of them played for nearly another 4 years, because they’re workload was slashed


I like it!

Robins Boost

Arsenal spending big? 53 mil on aubameyang? and now talks of 100m for a GOALKEEPER? should have gotten a DNDoF 10 years ago.


Fucking why did we sell Szeszney

Frank the Gooner

All of a sudden we’re leaking stories in the media and preying on financially weak/those not quite in the same bracket as us. Kind of sounds like how Barcelona and Madrid do their business. I fucking like it. Kick morality out the door and let’s be cunts.

Andy Mack

More likely a made up story than a leaked story


He has been one of the top GKs in the last few years. If we pull this off, by God, Gazidis might actually know what he is doing!


A bit upset that we’re also becoming a big spender in the sense that we should be producing players like auba, laca, mkhi, oblak and the likes in our academy or maybe take them at a young age from their parent academies and groom them them to become the next Henry/Fabregas/Jack. Well, the purchases of auba and mkhi are necessities in order to challenge for the top 4 but we should be taking a long, hard look at our academy and wonder what’s happening over there… From an idealist’s point of view, the way we’re trying to do it isn’t… Read more »

Andy Mack

We have some serious potential in our U23 and U 18 teams…


How much poo is this? Where is the scale?


We have strengthened our attack and it looks like we are working on doing the same for our defense as well. Great news!
But what bothers me is the relative lack of news or rumors about midfielders. We still haven’t replaced Gilberto. We sort of found workarounds in Flamini (along with cesc) and Arteta(with Ramsey) but overall that’s been an area that Arsene has ignored for far too long.

Glasgow Gooner

Loving the positivity around signings. Feel like a new day


That would be fuckin excellent!!!


I’d be shocked if we got Oblak.

He’s far too good to want to come here, and we’re far too cheap to change his mind.


We definitely need to do something at GK going forward. Cech is not the same player he was with Chelsea (not awful, but going in the wrong direction) and may have one more quality year left. Not sure how much Wenger would be willing to spend on a keeper with so many other needs on defense and the midfield.


As a Gooner, I can only dream. Oblak is incredible – but will he come to Arsenal? If PSG and Real are in the fray, we won’t stand a chance. If this doesn’t pan out, we shouldn’t wait till the end. One of the options can be Timo Horn, the FC Koln goalie. He is young, extremely capable, and highly rated. His stats are the best at the moment in Bundesliga. He was great against us in the Europa group stage match at Koln. And he wont cost an arm or a leg. O top of that, he has admitted… Read more »

Ornsteins Sauce

Wonder if we could offer them Laca + some cash? Would be harsh to sell him after one season but having Oblak over Lacazette would improve the first XI and being a £90m goalie would be a lot of pressure – also there’s no way we’ll pay that much.