Tottenham ‘agreed terms’ over £4m manager appointment before Paulo Fonseca approach

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Tottenham were on the brink of appointing Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui only for the deal to fall through at a late stage, according to reports.

Spurs then turned their attention to Paulo Fonseca, who left Roma at the end of the season and is expected to be unveiled as the north London club's new manager imminently.

Tottenham's search for a replacement for Jose Mourinho has dragged on for almost two months after the Portuguese was sacked in mid-April.

Chairman Daniel Levy has approached a host of managers and former Inter Milan and Chelsea boss Antonio Conte came closest to filling the hot seat before turning down the opportunity.

Levy was willing to pay £4million to prise Lopetegui from Sevilla
(Image: NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Conte was not the only near miss for Spurs, either, as Lopetegui performed a U-turn on swapping La Liga for the Premier League despite agreeing a deal with the Lilywhites.

That's according to Sunday Times journalist Duncan Castles, who told The Transfer Window podcast : "They ( Tottenham ) went a long way down the line with Julien Lopetegui, the Sevilla coach.

"They had agreed terms with Sevilla to release him from his contract for £4million, the release clause in his contract and also agreed terms on a contract.

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"Then for personal reasons related to family matters and because of changes brought about on movement of individuals because of Brexit, Lopetegui pulled out of that deal and Tottenham then went for Fonseca."

Lopetegui, 54, spent two-year stints in charge of Porto and Spain and had a brief spell as Real Madrid manager in 2018.

The Spaniard joined Sevilla on a three-year contract in 2019 and led the club to the Europa League title the following year, while he has also achieved back-to-back fourth-place finishes in La Liga with the club.

Would Julen Lopetegui have been a good appointment for Tottenham? Have your say in the comments.

Meanwhile, Spurs are yet to announce Fonseca's appointment but confirmed the arrival of former Juventus chief football officer Fabio Paratici on Saturday.

The 48-year-old arrives in north London as the club's new managing director of football during a shake-up of the hierarchy.

"I am thrilled by this fantastic opportunity and I thank the club and the chairman for the trust in me," said Paratici. "Tottenham is one of the top clubs in the UK and in Europe with an ambitious long-term plan.

"I will dedicate all myself to this new venture and look forward to working with the management team to write a new and hopefully successful chapter in the club history."

Levy added: "I've known Fabio for a number of years and he brings with him a wealth of experience in scouting, youth and football operations.

"He has an outstanding track record in assembling competitive squads. As we all know, Juventus have been a highly successful club and he has been a major part of that. He will be a great addition to the management structure."

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