Two of Arsenal's previously considered appointments for the vacant technical director role, Monchi and Marc Overmars, have revealed their reasons for snubbing the Gunners in favour of Sevilla and Ajax respectively.
The north London club will need to step up their efforts to find a suitable candidate in order to begin work for the summer transfer window, with the departure of head of recruitment Sven Mislintat in February adding more pressure to the search.
According to The Times, Steve Morrow, the Gunners' head of youth recruitment, has emerged as the leading candidate for the job.
Their top target Monchi left Roma by mutual consent two weeks ago and was expected to rejoin with Unai Emery at Arsenal, after the two had worked together over a three-year period in Sevilla to much success.
However Monchi turned down the offer from the Gunners, claiming that a return to Sevilla was a greater challenge for him.
“I thank Arsenal for their interest,” Monchi said. “It has been the club that has shown the most interest in me but, in the end, I evaluated all of the offers I had on the table and I chose the one that convinced me most.
“I had other options, and very important ones that were flashier, but I’ve chosen Seville because its sporting project convinced me. Many people outside of Seville have told me that I’ve made the wrong choice, that sequels are never good. I’ve evaluated all of this.”
Overmars was another leading candidate for the position. However, the former Arsenal star announced on Monday that he had extended his deal as Ajax's director of football until 2024.
The Dutch legend returned to notoriety this season, as his work with the club saw them turn a profit of over £220m in the transfer market and return to Europe's elite, reaching the Champions League quarter finals after ejecting Real Madrid from the competition.
Overmars explained why he decided to extend his stay at Ajax rather than take up the offer from Arsenal, saying (via The Mirror): "There are still plenty of challenges at Ajax and I'm having a good time here.
"We are taking steps with both the youth academy and the first team. From a sporting point of view, we still want to show a lot. What is also important to me, is that it is nice to work with the people around me.
"I get pleasure and satisfaction from that."
With the Gunners' top candidates for the job all snubbing their offers in favour of clubs that have less 'star power', Arsenal's position for next season is starting to look precarious.