Tottenham Hotspur were dealt another gutting setback in their managerial search, it has emerged…
According to Spanish outlet Marca, Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui rejected the opportunity to join Spurs, despite the club agreeing to pay his release clause.
The 54-year-old remains committed to the project at Andalusia-based outfit, having finished fourth in La Liga, a year after winning the Europa League.
This news effectively confirms an update from The Sunday Times’ Duncan Castles, who told his ‘The Transfer Window’ podcast a few days earlier:
“They went a long way down the line with Julien Lopetegui the Sevilla coach.
“They had agreed [on] terms with Sevilla to release him from his contract for £4m – the release clause in his contract – and also agreed [to] 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 [Paulo] Fonseca.”
So now it seems as if Spurs missed out on yet another name in their managerial hunt and considering the reaction to the likely appointment of Paulo Fonseca, this will come as gutting information to many of the club’s supporters.
As relayed by This is Futbol, the Portuguese coach was described as an “underwhelming” hire as well as being “absolutely bonkers” by some Spurs fans. Just a small sample size but it really does gauge the feeling of some of those in North London right now.
Spurs also held talks over a stunning return for Mauricio Pochettino but Paris Saint-Germain remained firm, and they were very close to sealing Antonio Conte too before the Italian pulled out of negotiations over his doubts that the club could match his ambitions.
Both Marca and Castles suggest that the Lilywhites’ newly-appointed director of football Fabio Paratici and chairman Daniel Levy were willing to pay Lopetegui’s buy-out clause but now it has been revealed – just like the many names above – that the Spaniard is the latest man to reject the Spurs job, which is just another blow for the club to have dealt with during this long process.
According to the Daily Mail, Fonseca was actually the sixth choice to replace Jose Mourinho in the dugout, which is rather damning in itself and merely adds weight to the argument that he’d be a very underwhelming option.
It remains to be seen whether this will be the right move in the end but going on the above reaction and evidence, Spurs may well live to regret not being able to hire any of those other five names, including the former Spain and Real Madrid boss.
There won’t be many Spurs fans pleased to hear this latest update, and they’ll likely be gutted to hear that after missing out on Conte, yet another top coach rejected the chance to move to their club, this time for reasons that were beyond Tottenham’s control.
If Spurs do hire Fonseca, which is now looking very likely, it’s hardly the most glowing of endorsements that he was reportedly the club’s sixth choice option and he’s only getting the job as five other targets were unattainable for a variety of different reasons.