Sources: Ex-Barca chief in line for Newcastle role


Former Barcelona technical secretary Ramon Planes is in the running to become Newcastle United‘s new director of football alongside Michael Emenalo, sources have told ESPN.

Planes, 54, left Barca earlier this week after agreeing to rescind his contract, which was due to expire next summer, with the Catalan club.

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Sources have told ESPN he has been approached by Newcastle as the Premier League side narrow their search for the role down to a handful of names.

Former Chelsea and Monaco sporting director Emenalo is another candidate, with sources also adding there is at least one other option on the table.

Planes has worked in England previously. He was the technical secretary at Tottenham between 2014 and 2015 when Mauricio Pochettino was the coach at White Hart Lane.

Prior to Spurs, he held a similar role at Espanyol and later worked for Elche, Rayo Vallecano and Getafe before joining Barca in 2018.

He worked alongside Eric Abidal at Camp Nou at first and, more recently, under general manager Mateu Alemany.

Planes has been credited with playing a key role in the signings of Pedri and Ronald Araujo, while he also pushed for the promotion of youngsters like Gavi and Nico Gonzalez into the first team this season.

Newcastle are in the process of making changes to the way the club is run after being taken over by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) in a deal worth just over £300 million in October.

Shortly after the takeover, Steve Bruce was replaced by Eddie Howe as the new head coach and the club’s new owners now want to appoint someone to oversee recruitment.

Newcastle are winless in 11 league games this season and sit second-bottom of the table. They host Brentford on Saturday in what will be Howe’s first game in charge.

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