Tottenham saw multi-million deal for top manager collapse in big pre-Fonseca twist

Julen Lopetegui, Unai Emery Villarreal v Sevilla May 2021

Tottenham came close to appointing Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui as their new manager but the deal fell through, one journalist has claimed.

Spurs appear to be ending their almost three-month search for a new head coach after Jose Mourinho’s sacking. His fellow Portuguese Paulo Fonseca looks close to moving to north London. In fact, reports claim that the former Roma boss – who Mourinho replaced – has agreed in principle a two-year contract.

However, other candidates have come and gone along the way.

While Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers and Steven Gerrard of Rangers got mentions as candidates, ex-Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo and Erik ten Hag looked more likely to sign at one stage.

Nevertheless, Tottenham have finally found their man. Reports claim, though, that Lopetegui came close to becoming the club’s new head coach.

Journalist Duncan Castles told the Transfer Window podcast: “They 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.”

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Lopetegui has experience on both the domestic and international stages.

Most recently, his Sevilla team won the Europa League in the 2019/20 season. Indeed, they beat Manchester United in the semi-finals before winning a thrilling final against Inter.

Before that, the Spaniard managed Real Madrid for a short stint, as well as the Spain national team.

He also won the Under-21 European Championships with his country in the 2012/13 season.

Pundit wants other Tottenham manager

Meanwhile, one pundit has said that he would have loved to see Gerrard get a go at Spurs.

The ex-Liverpool midfielder led Rangers to the Scottish Premiership title last season, going unbeaten in the process.

He has, as a result, grown massively in stature as a coach.