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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Dan Kilpatrick

Tottenham seek external Fabio Paratici replacement as Daniel Levy faces new manager decision

Fabio Paratici has resigned as Tottenham's managing director of football after losing his appeal against a 30-month ban from the game, plunging the club into further chaos.

Paratici's case was heard by Italy’s highest sports court within the Italian Olympic Committee on Wednesday, which last night dismissed his appeal as part of a series of rulings.

His departure leaves the club without a technical director or head coach, and chairman Daniel Levy will now lead the search to fill both roles, having initially delegated the job of finding a successor for Antonio Conte to Paratici.

The club is aiming to replace Paratici with an external candidate, who will report to incoming chief football officer Scott Munn, who is due to start on July 1, when his gardening leave with City Football Group ends.

Ideally, Paratici's replacement would have a leading say on the identity of the new head coach but Spurs are reluctant to delay their search for a new manager, with Chelsea also recruiting in the same market and a number of leading European clubs likely to be looking for a change in the summer.

Resigned: Fabio Paratici has quit as Tottenham’s managing director of football with immediate effect (REUTERS)

Paratici's ban and departure have also come as Spurs are attempting to convince Harry Kane to remain at the club and preparing for an overhaul of the squad in the summer, following a largely disappointing set of performances this season under Conte and his former assistant Cristian Stellini, who is acting head coach until the end of the campaign.

A Spurs statement on Friday read: "The current worldwide ban prevents Fabio from fulfilling his duties as our Managing Director of Football.

"Fabio has consequently taken the decision to resign from his position at the Club with immediate effect to focus on his legal position in respect of the FIGC and FIFA rulings.”

Chairman Levy added: "This has been a stressful time for Fabio and his family. We wanted to ensure that we allowed for due process to be followed. Fabio is a man who lives and breathes football – we wish him well.

"As outlined in our year end results, we started several months ago to restructure our football operations and last week announced the appointment of Scott Munn as Chief Football Officer to head up all the departments. We shall continue to strengthen our football functions over the coming months."

It is unclear how the club's manager search will be impacted by Paratici's exit but Levy must now decide whether to pursue the Italian's recommendations or change tack. The club was planning talks with former Spain head coach Luis Enrique, who is understood to be well-regarded by the outgoing managing director.

Julian Nagelsmann, the former Bayern Munich head coach, Feyenoord's Arne Slot and Burnley boss Vincent Kompany are among the other coaches of interest to the club.

Paratici was initially banned for two-and-a-half years from working in his home country by the Italian Football Federation's court of appeals for his role in false accounting at Juventus, where he worked for 11 years before joining Spurs in July 2021.

The sanction was unexpectedly extended by FIFA to the rest of the world at the end of last month and Spurs put Paratici on leave, pending the outcome of Wednesday's appeal. It is understood that Paratici could still appeal his worldwide ban.

Paratici was responsible for a number of encouraging signings for Spurs, including Cristian Romero, Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur, but he was also involved in the disastrous search for a new manager in summer 2021, which ended with the appointment of Nuno Espirito Santo.

The jury remains out on their signings this season, including Richarlison, Yves Bissouma and January addition Pedro Porro. Paratici’s day-to-day duties are being covered by performance director Grétar Steinsson, scouting chiefs Andy Scoulding and Leonardo Gabbanini, and Rebecca Caplehorn, Spurs' director of football administration and governance.

On Thursday, Juventus had their 15-point Serie A penalty suspended pending a new trial, while some other ex-Juve directors had their bans overturned.

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