Levy gives green light to major Tottenham summer overhaul

Technical director Franco Baldini has been blamed for poor signings while Spurs are concerned about potential difficulties in selling their unwanted players this summer
By Greg Stobart

Tottenham are planning a major overhaul and will sell up to 10 players this summer, with the club ready to take a huge financial hit on high profile flops.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is ready to accept a loss on signings that have failed to make the grade and return to a strategy of buying exciting young players with potential to improve.

Spurs have spent more than £140 million on transfers since Franco Baldini's appointment as technical director in 2013 but only Christian Eriksen and Nacer Chadli have met expectations.

The likes of Roberto Soldado (£26m), Erik Lamela (£30m), Paulinho (£16m) have all failed to make any significant impact and are fringe players under Mauricio Pochettino.

Likewise, Federico Fazio, Benjamin Stambouli, Ben Davies, Vlad Chiriches, Michel Vorm and Etienne Capoue are not part of the manager's first choice starting line-up.

Several of those signings are expected to leave Spurs this summer - including Soldado, Paulinho and Chiriches - with the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor, Younes Kaboul and Mousa Dembele also available as Pochettino attempts to trim his squad.

Baldini has long been expected to follow his failed signings out of north London at the end of season. The Italian, while respected for his contacts and personal skills, is no longer trusted to lead Spurs' transfer strategy.

A recent restructure of the club's management has split Baldini's duties. Paul Mitchell is responsible for the identification of transfer targets as head of recruitment while Rebecca Caplehorn now oversees the administrative side as head of football operations.

Spurs chiefs had decided that an overhaul was required as far back as November, when the club was languising in 12th place in the Premier League table.

Mitchell arrived that month and will lead this summer's recruitment drive, with Levy keen to back Pochettino as the Argentine seeks players with the attributes to fit his high tempo style. Spurs have had an encouraging season despite sitting sixth in the Premier League table and looking certain to miss out on the top four.

Pochettino is particularly eager to improve the mentality of the squad and Spurs are in the process of identifying their top summer targets, with the focus on young and hungry players suited to the demands of the Premier League.

Mitchell has also been given license to appoint new recruitment staff and will bring in a number two responsible primarily for identifying 'elite' targets between the age of 14 and 21. David Webb, currently head of recruitment at Championship promotion-chasers Bournemouth, is expected to take up the role.

Levy is ready to back significant investment in youngsters following the breakthrough of academy products such as Harry Kane, Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason in the last 18 months. Having been stung in the past by failed youth signings such as John Bostock, there is a sense now that Spurs can attract the best young players in the country with the genuine prospect of playing in the first team.

One of the key issues for Tottenham this summer will be how they are able to free up wages and space in the squad by selling unwanted players.

They hope to recoup as much as possible from failed signings such as Paulinho, Soldado and Chiriches but accept that they will have to take a massive loss of their initial investments.

While team spirit is described as "excellent" by training-ground sources, there is a discontented group of players who have almost no relationship with Pochettino and have barely been involved in recent months.

A French-speaking clique made up of Adebayor, Kaboul, Stambouli and Capoue are all determined not to leave the club if it means accepting a reduction in their salaries.

Spurs may even have to contribute to Adebayor's wages to get him off the wage bill while club captain Kaboul has a year left on his deal and is happy to run down his contract despite making his last Premier League appearance on November 9.

Pochettino and Levy, though, will look to push through their exits and build a squad that buys in to the manager's demands and philosophy.