Arsenal look set to appoint Borussia Dortmund's Sven Mislintat as their new recruitment head, according to widespread reports.
The Gunners had been known to be targeting the highly-regarded talent-spotter known as 'Diamond Eye' amid suggestions that current incumbent Steve Rowley was on the brink of ending his 35-year tenure in north London as part of a continuing backroom overhaul being instigated by chief executive Ivan Gazidis.
Transfer negotiator Dick Law, a key ally of long-serving manager Arsene Wenger, stood down at the end of September and it had been rumoured that Arsenal were preparing to hire a sporting director, with Ajax chief Marc Overmars, who played for the club between 1997-2000, Barcelona's Raul Sanllehi and Dortmund's Michael Zorc all linked with the newly-created position.
Reports from Bild on Sunday [19 November] evening suggested that Mislintat, who was under contract at Westfalenstadion until 2021, would join the Premier League giants later this year on an annual salary of €1.8m (£1.5m, $2.1m), with Dortmund expected to receive €2m in compensation.
The Evening Standard now claim that the German, pursued by Bayern Munich for their technical director position in 2015, is likely to be confirmed as Arsenal's newest arrival in the next few days following apparent approval from Wenger. However, they believe the compensation figure will be "significantly lower" than the one reported over the weekend.
The same publication also suggest that Rowley will remain in his current position until the end of the 2017-18 season, although the report it is unclear when exactly Mislintat will make the move.
Mislintat has become a well-respected figure in Bundesliga circles since joining Dortmund as a scout in 2009, after which he helped the club to build a title-winning side under Jurgen Klopp by bringing in the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Mats Hummels, Jakub Blaszczykowski, Neven Subotic, Ilkay Gundogan and Sven Bender. He was particularly influential in the 2010 arrival of Shinji Kagawa from Japanese outfit Cerezo Osaka in a deal worth just €350,000.
The 45-year-old, who also played a role in the signings of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, record departure Ousmane Dembele and Raphael Guerreiro, fell out with previous manager Thomas Tuchel over the transfer of Oliver Torres from Atletico Madrid last year and was mentioned in connection with a number of other clubs including Hamburg and Fortuna Dusseldorf before being promoted from chief scout to director of football.
Arsenal now look set to take a far more analytical Moneyball-esque approach to their increasingly modern transfer operation, having been regularly maligned for a lack of good business over recent years.
During the summer window that followed Wenger's two-year contract extension, the FA Cup holders, without a league title since 2004, set a new club record with the £46.5m signing of Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette, but recruited just one other player in free-agent left-back Sead Kolasinac and struggled to remove much of the deadwood from a bloated first-team squad.
It remains to be seen if Zorc will follow Mislintat to the Emirates Stadium, with Dortmund recently quick to rubbish renewed speculation from The Mirror that he is in line to take the sporting director job that Wenger has been so reluctant to introduce as he looks to retain overall control of transfers.