Football: Sporting director Monchi leaves Sevilla amid Roma rumours

Ramon Rodriguez Verdejo at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Sevilla on Feb 8, 2017.
Ramon Rodriguez Verdejo at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Sevilla on Feb 8, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

MADRID (AFP) - Sevilla said on Thursday (March 30) that its highly respected sporting director Ramon Rodriguez Verdejo, better known as "Monchi", was leaving after guiding the club through its most successful era.

Spanish media reports say Monchi, who has admirers across Europe, will go to Roma in Italy in a similar role.

"FC Sevilla and Ramon Rodriguez Verdejo, Monchi, have reached a deal for the departure of the club's sporting director," the club announced in a short statement, adding a press conference would be held Friday with further details.

Since taking over as sporting director in 2000, the former Sevilla goalkeeper has helped steer the club from Spain's second division to five Europa League titles, while raking in hundreds of millions of euros for the likes of Dani Alves, Sergio Ramos, Grzegorz Krychowiak and Ivan Rakitic among others, whom were all replaced at a fraction of the cost.

In a February interview with AFP, he hinted at a move: "I have said many times that France and Italy are the models that are perhaps the leagues that attract me most because the figure of sporting director has more weight."