Ex-manager target reveals how Paratici rift scuppered Tottenham move

Date published: Saturday 21st August 2021 11:00 - Samuel Bannister

Paulo Fonseca has opened up on why his appointment as Tottenham head coach never went through, suggesting he “didn’t believe in” the direction Fabio Paratici wanted them to go in.

Fonseca seemed all set to take over at Tottenham this summer in what would have been a job swap with Jose Mourinho, who replaced him at Roma. Tottenham had considered multiple candidates, only to be rejected by several. It seemed Fonseca was going to be the one to finally sign up.

But in a twist of events, the deal collapsed for reasons that were unclear at the time. Tax issues were proposed as one explanation. However, Fonseca has now finally opened up on why he didn’t take the job.

In an interview with SIC, a TV channel in his native Portugal, the coach suggested he disagreed with new Tottenham managing director Paratici, who joined the club five days before reports emerged of the Fonseca fall-through.

“All the details were settled,” Fonseca said in quotes translated by the Daily Telegraph. “I was really prepared for a new adventure at Tottenham. But, with the general manager (Paratici) coming in, we had some disagreements that were difficult to overcome.

“I really want to coach the best teams, but I cannot compromise my ideas. I cannot compromise my values just to coach a big team. The truth is that the president (Daniel Levy) and the sporting director (Steve Hitchen) always argued that the team should be offensive, should be attractive, should be a dominant team which went in the direction of what my teams are, in essence.

“And with the entry of the new general director, things changed a little bit. They wanted to go in another direction and, obviously, it wasn’t possible to develop something I didn’t believe in.”

Tottenham director of football Fabio Paratici watching his side from the touchline

Instead, Tottenham turned their attention back to another Portuguese manager, Nuno Espirito Santo. The ex-Wolves boss favours a more defensive style of play than his compatriot. It has led to mixed results in his opening two games.

Spurs beat champions Manchester City in their opening Premier League game. Then, a rotated lineup lost the first leg of their Europa Conference League play-off against Pacos De Ferreira.

Fonseca, meanwhile, is still out of work after turning down a move to MLS side Atlanta United recently. He had also been mentioned in connection with the Crystal Palace job, but Patrick Vieira took that instead.

Tottenham in advanced midfielder talks

Spurs fans will be hoping Paratici is building in the right direction after all. He has so far orchestrated the signings of Cristian Romero, Pierluigi Gollini and Bryan Gil.

Another addition could yet be on the way after reports on Friday revealed a deal is close for a Ligue 1 midfielder.

According to RMC Sport, talks have been ongoing for Spurs to sign a promising talent. The player in question has also been a target for Aston Villa and both Manchester clubs…

READ MORETottenham in ‘advanced’ talks to beat Man Utd, Chelsea for midfield talent

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