By Alex McLeish

17th Nov, 2021 | 6:30pm

Ex-manager excited by Newcastle hiring Emenalo after meeting him

Alex McLeish has backed Michael Emenalo to be a roaring success at Newcastle United ahead of his prospective appointment as director of football.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Scotland manager hailed the ex-Chelsea chief’s reputation and connections.

As revealed by Football Insider earlier this month (9th November), Newcastle are negotiating a deal with Emenalo and the latest from a club source is that talks are ongoing.

The Magpies have moved to get a director of football in place after sealing Eddie Howe’s appointment as manager.

McLeish insisted a figure with Emenalo’s knowledge and profile would be a welcome addition at St James’ Park.

He highlighted the 56-year-old’s connections to Belgium.

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McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “Managers used to be able to go watch players, judge them and say we’re bringing him in.

“Now that duty goes to the director of football. Emenalo has got great experience, there’s no doubt about that. I’ve met Michael a couple of times before and he knows his onions.

“Character-wise, he is a very assured guy. He’s very capable in what he’s doing. It’s a good name. He’s a good name in the game, especially that Belgium connection.”

Emenalo was at Chelsea for 10 years, with over half that time spent as the Blues’ technical director.

He played a key role in recruiting the likes of Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne and Mo Salah.

He also championed the Londoners’ academy system, which has produced Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount, among others.

Emenalo has been out of work since leaving his post at Monaco in 2019.

In other news, Newcastle United tipped to spend £100million as Howe plots triple January raid.