Spurs secured £4m release of another boss before Fonseca deal

Joe Williams
Julien Lopetegui Spurs
Julien Lopetegui Spurs

Spurs pulled out of a deal to bring in Sevilla boss Julien Lopetegui as the club’s new manager before sealing a swoop for Paulo Fonseca, according to reports.

The Portuguese is understood to be the first choice of recently appointed director of football Fabio Paratici and talks have been held.

Paratici recently left Juventus after a trophy-laden 11 years where he helped turn the Turin club into the dominant force of Italian football and challenged Europe’s top clubs.

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He does not officially start with Tottenham until July 1, but is already involved in the club’s managerial search and has identified former Roma boss Fonseca.

The north London club have been without a manager since Jose Mourinho’s sacking on April 19, but Fonseca’s appointment should follow Paratici’s shortly unless there are any late hitches.

However, Sunday Times journalist Duncan Castles claims Lopetegui was actually their first choice but that a deal collapsed for various reasons.

Castles told The Transfer Window Podcast: “They ( Tottenham ) went a long way down the line with Julien Lopetegui, the Sevilla coach.

“They had agreed terms with Sevilla to release him from his contract for £4million, the release clause in his contract and also agreed terms on a contract.

“Then for personal reasons related to family matters and because of changes brought about on movement of individuals because of Brexit, Lopetegui pulled out of that deal and Tottenham then went for Fonseca.”

Meanwhile, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, who has experimented with a director of football in the past, is hoping Paratici can recreate some of the success he brought to Juventus.

Levy said after appointing the Italian: “I’ve known Fabio for a number of years and he brings with him a wealth of experience in scouting, youth and football operations.

“He has an outstanding track record in assembling competitive squads. As we all know, Juventus have been a highly successful club and he has been a major part of that.

“He will be a great addition to the management structure. I am delighted that he will be heading up the football side of the club as we look ahead to next season.”