Tottenham Hotspur’s search for their new head coach has taken a sudden twist with talks ending with Paulo Fonseca and instead switching to Gennaro Gattuso.
Those in Fonseca’s camp told football.london that everything have been agreed between Tottenham and the Portuguese this week.
On Wednesday, the 48-year-old’s visa and administrative work had been being processed for his move to the UK and earlier in the week Fonseca held face-to-face talks with Spurs‘ new managing director of football Fabio Paratici in both Milan and in Como to prepare for the season ahead and discuss potential transfers.
Fonseca then travelled for a short break in Ukraine, where his TV presenter wife Katerina is from. She told her Instagram followers this week that she had “butterflies in my stomach because the new page begins”. Fonseca and his family were preparing to fly over to the UK before the end of this month.
Then Fonseca was suddenly informed that that deal was off. There were believed to be some Italian tax issues involved in hiring the former Roma and Shakhtar Donetsk man but both sides of the deal claim that finances were not the reason behind the dramatic withdrawal.
It believed that the about turn is more to do with Gattuso leaving Fiorentina just 23 days after he was appointed there.
It is understood that Paratici is an admirer of Gattuso, who led Napoli to win the Coppa Italia in 2020 but was sacked this season after the club missed out on Champions League qualification on the final day of the campaign.
When word came that Gattuso could suddenly became available, and that proved to be the case on Thursday, that forced a sudden change in direction and Spurs broke off the talks with Fonseca and instead switched to the fiery former Milan boss.
Italian reports claim that Gattuso and Fiorentina parted ways due to a dispute over transfers with his agent Jorge Mendes having recommended targets that the club were not keen to move on this summer.
There is some talk in Italy that Fonseca could be in line to take over at Fiorentina to complete a crazy turn of events.
Tottenham have faced a mess of a search for their new head coach and it is now two months since Jose Mourinho was relieved of his duties in April.
The club attempted to get Mauricio Pochettino back to the club but could not prise him away from PSG.
Then they held talks with former Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte only for those to suddenly collapse amid what was believed to be unrealistic demands from the Italian.
Paratici’s arrival then saw the original list of candidates drawn up by Spurs’ technical performance director Steve Hitchen, replaced by the Italian’s and led to the talks with Fonseca.