Andre Villas-Boas has promised that there will be a summer of transformation at Tottenham Hotspur regardless of whether they qualify for the Champions League.
Spurs are currently in fifth place and need Arsenal to slip up at Newcastle United if they are to play in the Champions League for just the second time in their history. But another season of Europa League football will not slow down the changes Villas-Boas has planned at White Hart Lane, as they intend to secure Gareth Bale to the club, get their transfer business done early – with a strong interest in Barcelona’s David Villa – and recruit a technical director.
Villas-Boas has already made clear to the club that he wants a senior figure to mediate between him and the board and to take control of transfers. “We have been outlining the route ahead for what we want to do in terms of the club structures,” he said, describing his plans for Spurs in greater detail than ever before. “Hopefully the arrival of somebody else in the structure for the recruitment side, a technical director. That person that bridges the gap between manager and board and is able to be focused on the technical side of things.”
“Someone who has experience of dressing rooms, represents the club, is able to link up with players, agents, I think it’s a very important role. It probably opens a wider market and we are able to touch different players.”
An appointment is thought to be particularly needed since the departure of Tottenham’s chief scout Ian Broomfield in January.
Franco Baldini, general manager of Roma and formerly Fabio Capello’s assistant with England, is a favourite for the role but Villas-Boas would not confirm a name, only his enthusiasm for the appointment. “I told the club that it’s somebody who is extremely important in my view of the structures of the club. It will help with the club moving forward to the dimension that we want to arrive.”
Player recruitment will be an important part of Spurs’ summer as they try to find an edge over Chelsea and Arsenal. Tottenham traditionally do their business on the final days of August and Villas-Boas agreed that it would be beneficial to have it done earlier this summer.
“Ideally when you set up for the first game of the season to have put the team to bed would be the ideal situation,” he said.
As good as Champions League qualification would be, Villas-Boas does not believe that signing good players depends upon it. “I’m not sure it’s that key,” he said. “Because Tottenham has a great tradition in football, and these facilities. And I think we have a group of players that attracts other players to come here, other players in bigger or same level squads would want to join up and play with them.”
“The more strong your squad is, the better, and the fact that we have Gareth achieving those individual awards this season is obviously something that other players will recognise as important moving forward.”
Villas-Boas is clearly confident of signing players from bigger teams and would love to add Villa from Barcelona, having previously tried to sign him during his tenure at Chelsea.
“He is a world-renowned striker,” Villas-Boas said. “One of the world’s best. His tally of goals in Valencia was impressive. When he got to Barcelona he played off the channels because [Lionel] Messi started going through the middle, but still with a good record of goals in his first season, until he broke his leg. He was a player that I always had a good relationship with, from the times in Chelsea, because I tried to move him away to Chelsea.”
* Race for the Champions League
Arsenal will guarantee fourth place if they beat Newcastle at St James’. If they lose or draw, Spurs must beat Sunderland at home to secure fourth. If Chelsea draw 0-0 and Arsenal win 2-1, they will be level overall and would meet in a play-off to decide third.