Tottenham confident of appointing Baldini to director role next year

Spurs remain in the hunt for Roma general manager even though he is expected to distance himself from a switch to London at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Tottenham remain confident of luring Franco Baldini to White Hart Lane even though he will tell a press conference on Wednesday that he is committed to Roma, can reveal.

Spurs have been tracking the former England No.2 since early summer and are hopeful he will take on a technical director role at the club next year.
Although Baldini is expected to distance himself from a switch to Spurs at a scheduled media briefing in Rome on Wednesday afternoon, sources have told that the two parties remain in contact.

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The likelihood is that the 51-year-old will leave Roma in either January or at the end of the season, and his destination is expected to be Tottenham.

Baldini's powerbase at the Serie A club has been weakened in recent months following a series of recruitment decisions that backfired at the start of his second spell in Rome.

Manager Luis Enrique, goalkeeper 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 had little input in the club’s summer transfer strategy, which was overseen by sporting director Walter Sabbatini, and his relationship with the club’s Boston-based owners is said to have deteriorated considerably.

Nevertheless, Baldini is the only Roma executive who speaks fluent English and the American owners, who have flown in to Italy for a board meeting later this week, want him to front the club’s winter training camp in Orlando, Florida.

Baldini’s €600,000-a-year Roma contract runs until 2014 but Tottenham’s interest is likely to pave the way for his departure at some point next year.

As revealed by last month, Spurs have targeted Baldini as they look to overhaul their recruitment operation and create a new senior executive position.

Chairman Daniel Levy wants to re-introduce a continental-style set-up to aid manager Andre Villas-Boas four 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 in the 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.

Senior Spurs officials are prepared to bide their time and wait for Baldini to become available, even though club sources insist there are other names in the frame for the role.

Ian Broomfield, who was brought to the club from Portsmouth in 2009 by ex-boss Harry Redknapp, was sacked as chief scout last month, which followed the departure of scout Peter Senior from the academy set-up.

Baldini is well known to English audiences for his four years with the England national team working alongside Fabio Capello before his departure last year 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.