Tottenham Hotspur, who have been in talks to lure Antonio Conte for the vacant management job, might have pulled off a coup in the signing another Italian, Juventus’ director of football, Fabio Paratici.
Agreement reached, matter of details. Fabio Paratici joins Tottenham as new director of football, he’s expected to sign next week. He’ll be involved in the new manager decision – Paratici spoke with Levy and will accept the job despite Conte refused to join Spurs. ⚪️ #THFC
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 4, 2021
After the failure to secure the Serie A title and another season without any progress in the UEFA Champions League, things are being shaped up differently at the Old Lady currently and Paratici is the second name after Andrea Pirlo to have left the club.
While former manager Massimiliano Allegri has returned to replace Pirlo, Paratici is set to be replaced by his assistant, the head of youth development, Federico Cherubini.
Although Paratici and Conte have shared a close relationship since their days at Juventus, the Italian is reportedly not set to follow the sporting director to the vacant job at Spurs. But Spurs fans can be excited about Paratici’s arrival, as he brings in a host of experience alongside acute knowledge about the transfer market.
Born in the comune of Borgonovo Val Tidone in north-west Italy in 1972, Paratici started off his youth career in the region of Piacenza before going on to appear for third-tier club Piacenza in 1989. He earned the tag of being a journeyman, as he had the tendency to move from one club to another frequently in his career.
Paratici, who hasn’t played any football over the third tier in his entire career, retired in 2004 after appearing for 12 clubs in 15 years. Shortly after his retirement at Brindisi, Paratici landed the role of Head of Scouting at top-flight club Sampdoria, where he developed a father-son relationship with Sampdoria’s then Director General Giuseppe Marotta.
Paratici and Marotta during their days at Sampdoria. (Image Courtesy: Serie A / Website)
Under these two, Sampdoria saw success for the first time in decades as they were consistently able to fight with the top clubs but ended finishing just behind them most of the time. And the situations were being noticed by Juventus, whose newly elected chairman, Andrea Agnelli decided to bring the duo to Turin in 2010.
A DECADE AT JUVENTUS
At the Bianconeri, Marotta was appointed as the CEO and General Manager of Sports Area while Fabio Paratici was handed the duties of Head of Technical Areas and the Sporting Director of the club, overseeing the player recruitment and transfer business.
Paratici, with Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli. (Image Courtesy: Juventus / Website)
Known as the king of free transfers, Paratici has overseen the arrival of the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Lucio, Paul Pogba, Adrien Rabiot, Sami Khedira and Aaron Ramsey without the club having to spend a single cent. But some his best work at Juventus has the identification of the right players required for the club’s philosophy but also the manager’s needs.
Andrea Pirlo’s transfer was heralded as one of the coups of the century. (Image Courtesy: Serie A / Website)
Players such as Carlos Tevez, Leonardo Bonucci, Arturo Vidal, Alex Sandro, and Alvaro Morata were bought at their peaks and each of them can considered legends for the contributions to the clubs in terms of the success it accomplished, and the number of trophies won.
But perhaps the biggest signings of Paratici’s time at Juventus would be Dutch defender Matthijs De Ligt and Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, whose transfer was dubbed the ‘signing of the century’ by Paratici himself.
Both deals saw difficulties as Juventus had to fight the likes of Barcelona and Manchester United for De Ligt while Ronaldo’s transfer seemed impossible as the forward just won his third Champions League in a row with Real Madrid.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) July 17, 2018
Although he did wonders at the Old Lady, Fabio Paratici is also known to have had criticisms and controversies around him. His habit of overcrowding one position and overlooking of the others in the recent times has been criticized by many but the controversy over the transfer of Luis Suarez will hang over his head forever.
Accused of orchestrating a pre-determined Italian language exam in order to ease the transfer of Suarez from Barcelona, Paratici will now face more media scrutiny during his time at Spurs in the future.
WHAT CAN HE DO AT SPURS?
Spurs, in the recent years, have seen many inconsistencies in the recruitment of players and one of the main reasons which can attributed to this recent phenomenon is the departure of sporting director Paul Mitchell in 2017.
Paul Mitchell was one of the major reasons of Spurs’ success in the mid 2010’s. (Image Courtesy: BBC / Website)
Mitchell arrived at Tottenham, along with Mauricio Pochettino in May 2014 and had been instrumental in the signing of players such as Dele Alli, Son Heung-min, Kieran Trippier, Toby Alderweireld and Moussa Sissoko, most of whom still play a key role in the present day at Spurs.
He attributed his departure to his falling out with the club chairman Daniel Levy as there were frequent clashes over Levy’s involvement in the player recruitment. After Mitchell’s leaving, Levy dropped the two-tier system at the club and has taken up the responsibility of the signing of players, along with assistants David Pleat and Steve Hitchen.
Daniel Levy must try and bring back stability at Spurs after a dreadful 2020-21 season. (Image Courtesy: Tottenham Hotspur / Website)
With Paratici’s imminent arrival, the club looks set to return to a two-tier management structure and the Italian passion for football which is immeasurable in his own words, can certainly help Spurs overcome the inconsistencies that have creeped in recently and set the recruitment strategy on the right track.
Even Levy knows that there has to be change at the club after a frankly dreadful season which saw the club finish 7th in the league, and will hope that the new manager along with Fabio Paratici can steer the club out of the current miserable situation.