Tottenham pulled out of negotiations for Paulo Fonseca at the 11th hour – when Gennaro Gattuso became available, writes the Mirror.
It is the latest incredible twist in Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy’s search for a manager after previously having negotiations for Antonio Conte and Mauricio Pochettino.
Now they have pulled the plug on ex-Roma boss Fonseca with claims that it was because of financial reasons being hotly denied.
Tottenham staged a major U-turn because ex-AC Milan hardman Gattuso suddenly became available after he walked out on Fiorentina after just 23 days in charge.
Gattuso, 43, quit after a row with the Fiorentina hierarchy over transfers and Tottenham’s newly appointed director of football Fabio Paratici made an approach.
Tottenham are now in talks with Gattuso about becoming their new boss and sources suggest they believe they will get their man at the fourth time of asking.
Gattuso could be an interesting appointment as he is remembered for having a touchline bust-up with ex-Spurs boss Harry Redknapp’s former assistant Joe Jordan during a Champions League tie ten years ago.
Ex-Rangers midfielder Gattuso, who also played for AC Milan and won 73 caps for Italy, has managed Milan and Napoli and is well regarded in Italy.
But Tottenham can barely afford another slip up as their search for a permanent replacement for Jose Mourinho who was sacked in April.
They were keen on former boss Pochettino and tried to lure him back from Paris Saint Germain to White Hart Lane and they flirted with the popular Argentine for two weeks.
But they turned to ex-Chelsea boss Antonio Conte after his departure from Inter Milan and that looked set to go ahead before breaking down.
Fonseca was the next in line and the cub expected to complete negotiations this week – only for that now to fall flat.
But sources insist it has nothing to do with finances as is being reported in Italy especially as Fonseca would not have commanded as big a contract as Conte or Pochettino.
However, when Gattuso suddenly became available they jumped and moved for him instead.