Tottenham close in on Baldini appointment

Spurs have targeted the Roma general manager to head a new-look recruitment operation at White Hart Lane and are hopeful of luring him to north London this summer
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Tottenham are confident of luring Franco Baldini to White Hart Lane this summer as they step up plans to overhaul their recruitment operation, understands.

Spurs have been tracking the Roma general manager and former England No.2 since last summer after making him their top choice to take on a technical director role at the club.


With 11 goals to his name so far this term, the much-maligned Walters has unexpectedly become the primary source of Stoke’s goals this season. Four ahead of next top-scorer Peter Crouch, the Ireland international has netted twice in his last three outings. Given the increasing banality of Gareth Bale’s genius, it seems logical to cast the spotlight on another of Spurs' attacking outlets. With the Stoke mould primarily cast in strength and physicality, the winger’s pace is likely to cause all manner of headaches for the Potters.
Baldini is contracted to Roma for another two years but the likelihood is growing that he will leave the Giallorosso for Tottenham at the end of the season.

The 52-year-old's powerbase at the Serie A club has been weakened this season following a series of recruitment decisions that backfired.

Former manager Luis Enrique, players Fernando Gago and Jose Angel, goalkeeping coach Franco Tancredi and head of communication Daniele Lo Monaco were all appointed on Baldini's recommendation and have since left the Olimpico Stadium.

The Roma general manager has ceded control this season on transfer strategy to sporting director Walter Sabbatini, who signed a contract extension in midweek, and his relationship with the club's Boston-based owners is said to have deteriorated considerably.

Baldini's €600-a-year (£507k) Roma contract runs until 2015 but Tottenham have a long-standing interest in the executive, as revealed by last September, and have intensified their pursuit in recent weeks.

A deal with the Londoners has not yet been agreed but sources claim that Baldini could negotiate a settlement with Roma that includes a year's pay-off before signing for Spurs.

The tipping point in his relationship with Roma could well be the Coppa Italia final on May 26, should the club fail to defeat bitter city rivals Lazio.

Spurs have targeted Baldini as they look to overhaul their recruitment operation and create a new senior executive position.

25/1 Tottenham are 25/1 with Bet365 to win the Premier League in 2013-14
Chairman Daniel Levy wants to reintroduce a continental-style set-up to aid manager Andre Villas-Boas five years after abandoning the director of football model when Damien Comolli was sacked in October 2008.

Villas-Boas, who held talks with Baldini about taking the Roma manager's job last summer, has confirmed he would be comfortable with the introduction of a technical director at Tottenham.

"I have worked with one at Porto and Academica and had no issues with that and I certainly promote that," Villas-Boas said last September.

Senior Spurs officials have bided their time while they wait for Baldini to become available, even though club sources insist that there are other names in the frame for the role.

Baldini is well known to English audiences for his four years with the England national team working alongside Fabio Capello before his departure in 2011 to return to Roma for a second spell.

The former midfielder became director of football at Roma in 1999 and, with Capello, he helped to bring Walter Samuel, Gabriel Batistuta and Emerson to the club. Baldini resigned in March 2005 and joined Capello at Real Madrid a year later.

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