Arsenal have been dealt a fresh blow in their hunt for a new sporting director after Marc Overmars signed a new long-term contract with Ajax on Monday afternoon.
The Gunners were hoping to appoint Spanish transfer specialist Monchi later this month after tabling an attractive three-year contract offer for his services, but he ultimately decided to return to Sevilla instead .
While that news came as a shock to Arsenal chiefs, a back-up candidate had also been previously identified in the form of a former fan favourite Overmars - who played for the club between 1997 and 2000.
The 45-year-old is now serving as technical director at Ajax, but the Premier League giants were ready to make a play for his signature after losing out on Monchi.
Unfortunately for Arsenal, their search for a new recruitment guru is set to continue after Overmars signed a contract extension at Ajax which will keep him at the club until 2024.
Overmars expressed his joy after the announcement was made on Monday, insisting he still has plenty of targets to reach at Ajax over the next few seasons.
"There are still plenty of challenges at Ajax and I'm having a good time here," he told the club's official website . "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."
Ajax chairman Leen Meijaard highlighted how important Overmars is to the club going forward, as he stated: "Overmars has made an enormous contribution to the developments that Ajax has both financially in the years in which he has been a member of the management board and we as the Supervisory Board are also confident that the club can take further steps with him in the years to come.
"For the continuity of Ajax's business, it is also important that key positions such as this clarity about the future.
"In short: we are happy that Marc Overmars wants to commit to Ajax for a longer period. "
Meanwhile, Arsenal are still on the lookout for Sven Mislintat's replacement at Emirates Stadium, two months after he left his role in the club's recruitment department.
The Gunners are planning to restructure at boardroom level, but the process is taking longer than originally expected, with pressure set to mount in the wake of this latest news.
On the pitch, Arsenal are currently fourth in the Premier League with a huge fixture against Newcastle to look forward to next following the international break on April 1 .