Report claims Tottenham players unhappy with duo’s dugout antics

Date published: Sunday 5th September 2021 2:12 - Rob McCarthy

Nuno Espirito Santo, Fabio Paratici watching Tottenham Mind Series v Chelsea

Tottenham players are reportedly unhappy with Fabio Paratici and Steve Hitchen’s behaviour in the dugouts during their home games this season.

Sporting director Paratici and Hitchen, who is Spurs’ technical performance director were on the bench during Tottenham’s pre-season fixture with Arsenal and the two home Premier League wins over champions Manchester City and Watford.

The report in The Sun says that Tottenham players were annoyed at the transfer chiefs for ‘rising to their feet to shout at the match officials’.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s men also feel unable ‘to speak freely among themselves’ in the presence of the pair.

A source close to the Tottenham team told The Sun: “It just doesn’t sit right with the players.

“The substitutes on the bench don’t feel they are able to speak freely among themselves with those guys sitting next to them.

“The players as a whole don’t like it when the two of them are on their feet shouting at the match officials or the team.”

However, Paratici and Hitchen will continue to sit on the team bench until at least October.

Due to the Premier League’s pandemic protocols, all players and staff in the ‘red zone’ testing pool are required to be sat together in designated areas.

Therefore, both Paratici and Hitchen will remain in the dug-out until restrictions are modified.

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Tottenham have Kessie plan in place

Meanwhile, AC Milan are growing increasingly concerned they could lose Franck Kessie on a free transfer next summer following news that the midfielder has rejected their latest new contract offer.

The Serie A giants have already been stung this summer. They lost both Hakan Calhanoglu and Gianluigi Donnarumma on a free transfers. The pair, both seen as hugely saleable assets, moved as a free agent after failing to agree extensions.

And with just a year left on his arrangement at the San Siro, fears are mounting that Kessie could also leave without a fee.

That’s obviously a scenario Milan are desperate to avoid. As such, talks over a new deal have been ongoing for some time.

Franck Kessie AC Milan midfielder TEAMtalk

Indeed, sensing an opportunity, Spurs are among several sides keeping a close eye on developments.

And those hopes appear to have enhanced amid news from Italy that Kessie has rejected Milan’s latest proposal.

As per La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Ivorian midfielder has rejected a new deal worth €6.5m a season. Furthermore, there is a growing sense of pessimism that Kessie will instead look to walk away on a free.

Keen to avoid that scenario, Tottenham chief Fabio Paratici is reportedly ready to play an ace card. Per reports, the Italian has already sounded Milan out over a potential cut-price deal in January.

While they would be free to sign him to a pre-contract agreement from January 1, Spurs are said to be looking to appease Milan by paying a small fee for the midfielder now.

And while it could still cost them around £10m, Paratici is of the mind that by offering a fee now, it would enhance their prospects of getting a deal done.

READ MORE: PSG ready to scupper Tottenham plans to sign feared striker if Kylian Mbappe leaves


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