Fabio Paratici: Better for Tottenham to be involved in fight to sign top players

Spurs were close to bringing Luis Diaz and Adama Traore to the club during the January transfer window but eventually lost out on both players.

Jonathan Veal
Thursday 03 February 2022 17:56
Fabio Paratici missed out on deals for Luis Diaz and Adama Traore in January (Martin Rickett/PA)
Fabio Paratici missed out on deals for Luis Diaz and Adama Traore in January (Martin Rickett/PA)

Tottenham’s managing director of football Fabio Paratici says it is better to be in the race to sign top players and lose than to not be in it at all.

Spurs were close to bringing Luis Diaz and Adama Traore to the club during the January transfer window but eventually lost out on both players.

The move for Porto winger Diaz was hijacked by Liverpool after Spurs had a deal in place, while Traore eventually chose an emotional return to Barcelona.

The Premier League club rescued their transfer window by signing Juventus pair Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski on deadline day, but only after coming under ridicule for missing out on their top targets.

But Paratici said: “It’s normal for us to be in the middle of this kind of rumours and it’s also normal when you start the race and to fight to sign big players.

“We are a big club, there are 10-12 big clubs in the world, so it’s normal when you start to race or to fight to sign a big player. Of course you have somebody that deserves to sign this player too.

“Sometimes you win, as what happened with (Cristian) Romero in the summer, and sometimes you can lose the race. I think the worst and strange thing is not being in the race.

“We have to be committed and, like I said before, to be in the race when there is somebody good enough for us.

“We want to sign players who can improve our team, we don’t sign just to sign. That is not useful for the club, not useful for the coach, not useful for everybody.

“There are some positions where we searched and find solutions and others where we don’t have this kind of opportunities. It’s OK, we go ahead, we go forward with our players and we are happy about it.”

As well as signing Bentancur and Kulusevski, Paratici oversaw the exit of four players on deadline day as Dele Alli moved to Everton, while Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Bryan Gil all headed out on loan.

The Italian, who helped coax Antonio Conte to the club in November, took an apparent dig at those outgoing players.

Dele Alli moved to Everton last month (Andrew Matthews/PA)

“To have a good group, we need a good dressing room who follows the coach and the ambition of the club and achieves the target, we need a person before a player,” he added on Spurs TV.

“That’s the most important thing for me. Everyone understands about the skills of the players, what we need, what the coach asks and we have to follow this direction.

If we speak about rebuild, we have to think back six or seven months ago when I was talking about a rebuild of the team.

“Normally a rebuild takes time. We sold some players in between the summer and January, which had a lot of seasons here, which maybe need other motivation.

“And we bought players, younger with motivation, with technical level, with good mentality to improve the team now and in the future especially. As a project we have to spend time doing it.

“We signed one of the best coaches in the world, so I think we are in a good direction.

“Players like Bentancur and Kulusevski, they are younger but they have a lot of experience, because Bentancur played five years in Juventus and almost 200 games and Kulusevski almost 100.

“Both of the players have a lot of character, a lot of intensity. Dejan is a forward but he runs a lot, he fights a lot, he has a lot of personality, a big personality. He is very ambitious and this is the most important skill that he has.”

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