Michael Emenalo quits Chelsea in major blow to Roman Abramovich

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Chelsea's off-field intrigue continued yesterday when Conte dropped central defender David Luiz from the squad to play Manchester United, which lead to Sky Sports' Gary Neville claiming that the Chelsea boss could 'lose his job' over the incident. He has already been linked with a position at Monaco.

Emenalo said in a statement: "This has been a very hard decision to make, but one I believe is right for both myself and my family, and the club".

Michael Emenalo singled out Andreas Christensen for special praise after his surprise exit from Stamford Bridge. I have had the privilege to work alongside some of the most talented people in the world of sport over the past 10 years, and I will depart incredibly proud of the achievements we have made.

Chelsea have had seven permanent managers in the period since Emenalo first arrived, plus Guus Hiddink (twice) and Rafael Benitez as lengthy interim appointments.

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He was briefly assistant first-team coach to Carlo Ancelotti, replacing Ray Wilkins, a move which drew criticism given his lack of coaching experience, although he has since gained his Uefa Pro Licence.

Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck added: "It is with regret that the owner and board of directors accepted Michael's resignation this week".

Marina Granovskaia, a director at Chelsea and known key-figure in transfer dealings, is a long-term ally of Roman Abramovich and is someone who looks to have an even greater amount of power than Emenalo when it comes to recruitment.

Chelsea will review its management structure in the wake of Emenalo's departure but revealed he will be involved in that process.