Gennaro Gattuso: Tottenham end interest in Italian as manager search goes on

Supporters reacted strongly at news the Italian was in talks to replace Jose Mourinho

Jonathan Veal
Friday 18 June 2021 11:40
Jose Mourinho leaving Tottenham training ground after sacking

Tottenham Hotspur’s managerial search has taken another twist after they pulled out of talks with Gennaro Gattuso

The Italian became the front runner for the position on Thursday when he left Fiorentina after just 23 days in charge, with Spurs calling off a deal to appoint Paulo Fonseca.

But the north London club will not be pursuing their interest further, believed to be in part to the fan reaction to a possible appointment.

#NoToGattuso was trending on Twitter on Thursday night and Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust who have had a difficult relationship with the club over the last few months owing to their involvement in the European Super League, also shared fans’ concerns with the club.

THST said in a post on Twitter: “As ever, it isn’t wise for us to comment on speculation.

“However, we can and do communicate supporter sentiment to the decision makers at the Club, and have done so very clearly on this occasion.

“We are aware of and acting on your concerns around potential managerial candidates.”

It is another twist in a chaotic search for Jose Mourinho’s successor, which is now in its ninth week, making it the second longest post-war recruitment process in the club’s history.

Spurs were in advanced talks with former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte who worked with incoming football managing director Fabio Paratici at Juve, before calling off talks after realising he did not fit their profile.

They have also courted former boss Mauricio Pochettino, but were unable to get him out of his current club Paris St Germain.

Former Roma boss Fonseca, who met with Paratici for talks this week, was ready to join the north London club until they pulled the plug on Thursday.

An appointment was understood to be close, until Paratici was alerted to the possible availability of Gattuso.

The 2006 World Cup winner took over at Fiorentina last month following his sacking by Napoli at the end of last season for missing out on Champions League qualification, but left on Thursday after reported disagreements over which players they were going to sign.

The former Rangers midfielder has history with Spurs, having been involved in a touchline bust-up with assistant manager Joe Jordan in a Champions League game with AC Milan in 2011.

Meanwhile, the club have repaid the £150million Bank of England loan using £250million raised through a private placement scheme organised by Bank of America.

Spurs took the Covid Corporate Financing Facility loan last year to help them through the coronavirus pandemic after seeing revenue slashed.

Chairman Daniel Levy said: “The long-term sustainability of the club is paramount and the replacement of short-term debt with long-term financing means we are in a secure financial position.

“The club’s ability to manage effectively throughout the Covid period led to discussions with the same institutions that supported the club in 2019 to refinance stadium funding.

“Our institutional investors and banks have been supportive and positive throughout the pandemic despite the uncertainty in the economy and the lack of fans at the stadium for the past two seasons, for which we are very grateful.

“I should also like to take this opportunity to thank all our partners who have continued to support us, in particular our long-term partner AIA. During these challenging times, they have worked alongside us on new ways to activate and engage. We never underestimate the immense contribution this partnership makes to our resilience as a club.”