Sevilla have confirmed the appointment of Monchi as their sporting director, handing a blow to Arsenal who were hoping to bring him to the Emirates.
The former director of football at Roma left the Italian club earlier this month by mutual consent and had been expected to join the Gunners.
Mirror Football revealed last month that Monchi – who is highly regarded within European football – had been offered a deal at the Emirates, which would see him reunite with Unai Emery.
The duo have a good relationship after a successful spell working together at Sevilla, in which the Gunners boss led the Spanish side to three successive Europa League crowns.
However, Spaniard Monchi has now performed a U-turn by returning to the club he left two years ago.
Sevilla confirmed the appointment on Sunday: “The San Fernando native will begin his second spell at Sevilla FC with immediate effect.
“He rejoins after a two years in Italy, having acted as sporting director for one of the biggest clubs in Europe since March 2017.”
The appointment comes after Sevilla president Jose Castro revealed on Friday – less than 24 hours after their Europa League exit – that talks had opened to take him back to his former club.
“We believe Monchi is the best choice and we’ve started negotiations with him,” said Castro. “His receptiveness has been extraordinary.
“We have to agree on future plans, but both parties are optimistic.”
Monchi himself appeared to have confirmed he was returning, with a message sent out on social media on Saturday.
“The heart never forgets the place where it left its most beautiful beats,” read the motto.
He then added: “Just this… which at times means a great deal.”
Arsenal are now likely to step up their interest in bringing back Marc Overmars to the club.
Overmars, who helped the club to a Premier League and FA Cup double in 1998, is currently working for another of his former clubs Ajax.