If Tottenham Hotspur are trying to find a way to chase Harry Kane away from the club, the North London clubs’ managerial search would make a lot more sense. Having started the search by surprisingly sacking Jose Mourinho at massive cost – having sacked Mauricio Pochettino to bring in the Portuguese – the club then left Ryan Mason in charge until the end of the season. A managerial search that has included names as left-field as Jurgen Klinsmann to being as ambitious as Antonio Conte, though, has reached a new farce.
The first name to actively be chased by Spurs was Conte himself. The Italian left Internazionale under a cloud, and was believed to be eager to start a new project as soon as possible. Spurs, though, appear to have failed in negotiation and in offering Conte a project that would entice the trophy winning Italian to come back to the Premier League. From there, a bevy of names was suggested that eventually led to another Portuguese in the form of Paulo Fonseca.
The former Shakhtar Donetsk coach had done a fine job in Portugal and then in Ukraine, before moving to AS Roma. The eccentric nature of life in Rome and in charge of a Roma that was in the middle of a sale, though, left the Portuguese in a tough spot. A challenging spell came to an end when he was let go, with Mourinho ironically replacing him at Roma.
Things have changed again, though, with an intriguing development. Reports surfaced early on Thursday that talks were Fonseca were breaking down over a tax issue. It was suggested that a tax solution that is provided in Italy was not possible in the UK, leading to an end of talks. Other reports, though, suggest something else.
What is the situation with Tottenham?
The main intrigue comes from Fabio Paratici, the new Spurs Director of Football. During the summer and even as the end of the Serie A season came around, it was reported that Paratici was highly keen on Gennaro Gattuso. The Italian left Napoli and since moved to Fiorentina, intending to lead La Viola into a new era. However, after just three weeks, he sensationally quit from the club.
Now reports are emanating from Italy that suggest that the two things are linked. Paratici is keen to land Gattuso, who he previously rated as a Juventus-calibre coach, and bring him to the Premier League. Suggestions that Gattuso has left Fiorentina over disputes regarding the calibre of player attainable and level of spending possible has now seen the coach exit before pre-season even begins.
This leaves Spurs with a chance to land the coach that Paratici perhaps always wanted, but believed was unattainable. Sources in Portugal suggested that Fonseca was left dumbfounded, as discussions around not only taking over at Spurs, but transfer targets, had taken place.
In what might be the most chaotic summer of any English team, though, this might just be the peak for Spurs fans. If the next move falls through, it is hard to imagine what would happen next.