Arsenal chief scout in rivals' sights


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Chelsea are pushing hard to make Arsenal's highly rated chief scout Steve Rowley the successor to Frank Arnesen in charge of player recruitment, to the extent they are already looking at recruiting other scouts to work with him in the future.

The Newcastle United scout Willie McKeown is understood to be among those who would form part of Chelsea's scouting team should Rowley join the club. Rowley's appointment would be quite some coup for Chelsea. At Arsenal, Rowley has been an integral part of the club's recruitment policy, from youth level up to the internationals who go straight into the senior side.

Rowley enjoys Arsène Wenger's trust and his opinion on potential signings carries great weight. Rowley has created a global network of scouts who take credit for signing Cesc Fabregas as well as targeting the likes of Robin van Persie, Samir Nasri and Thomas Vermaelen.

Arnesen is taking over as sporting director at Hamburg in July and taking with him Lee Congerton, Chelsea's head of senior scouting, who would have been a possible successor. Chelsea are hoping for a decision from Rowley before the end of the season.