Paul Mitchell has confirmed that he will leave his role as sporting director of AS Monaco, telling Nice-Matin that he has “completed his mission.”
L’Équipe first revealed that Mitchell was set to leave the Principality club, specifying that he would leave at the end of the summer transfer window. Whilst the English sporting director didn’t give a date for his departure, he will indeed leave after having found his successor and having guided them through their “first steps” at the club.
Mitchell’s next position is currently unclear, although sources contacted by Get French Football News revealed that the former Wigan Athletic player has spoken to Liverpool. According to L’Équipe, Mitchell is coveted by English clubs.
Explaining his decision to leave the club that he joined back in 2020, Mitchell said, “I loved my experience at the club. I have always felt lots of support from president Dmitri Rybolovev and from the Principality. We had numerous discussions about my mission, about the possibility of changing my role within the club, and about extending my contract. I am very grateful to the president for having confidence in me, We have created a relationship based on transparency and honesty, but I’ve spent a lot of time away from home and my close ones these past years. I have the feeling that the mission that I had, which was to create a sporting project, is complete.”
Mitchell, who has been responsible for signings such as Caio Henrique, Vanderson, and Axel Disasi, who has been linked with a €50m move to Manchester United by Foot Mercato, said that he took the decision to leave the Principality club a few months ago.
“I took the decision a few months ago. That hasn’t made me less demanding. I was still very busy. I am someone who works hard, but things have maybe even intensified. In the stands, I still don’t enjoy the matches that don’t go well. I am still very invested in the club and I will continue to be so until my final day.”
When that final day comes is dependent on the arrival of his successor, which Mitchell has been charged with finding. Asked about the profile of his replacement, Mitchell replied, “A similar one (to me). Monaco needs someone who is capable and who has the desire to continue the development of the academy’s youth player, someone who has leadership and management qualities, and someone who has a short-term, medium-term and long-term vision. Someone as well that has a good knowledge of the market and can put in place an ambitious recruitment strategy. Finding the right person won’t be easy, but it’s a good challenge.”
He continued, “I have some names in mind. I have been in the field for a long time. On the way, I have come across some very competent people. We are in the process of sounding out some profiles.”
Mitchell has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League, and he reacted to the reports, saying, “Everything that is currently being said in the press isn’t necessarily true. My responsibility is to concentrate on Monaco and I take that very seriously. Whether or not I’m appreciated, I have always put the interests of the club above my own. I am going to continue to do that. Life is a question of timing. You can never say never, but I want to leave this project on a solid footing.”
The former Tottenham Hotspur man added that he sought to clarify his future in order to put to bed the speculation that had been swirling for the past month. “I am speaking today to put an end to the rumours, to the speculation, to the worries. With clarity and transparency, we avoid taking bad decisions. There is always noise around me, but this time I want to be clear.”
GFFN | Luke Entwistle