Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Trap for Spurs; Italy Coach Confirmed as No1 Target for Levy

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Trap for Spurs; Italy Coach Confirmed as No1 Target for Levy

Article excerpt


GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI is in negotiations to become Tottenham's new first-team coach, Standard Sport can today confirm.

The Italian national team coach, one of the greats of European football, is the club's the No1 target to replace Glenn Hoddle at White Hart Lane.

Trapattoni's Milan-based adviser, Claudio Vigorelli, verified that Spurs were in contact with his client over the vacant position. "I think there is a possibility to do this transfer. We are working with Spurs on this," he said.

But Spurs will have to overcome major hurdles if they are to persuade the 64-year-old coach to take the job ahead of Euro 2004 in Portugal this summer.

A source close to Vigorelli also endorsed Tottenham's interest but added that the Italian coach does not want anything to affect his plans for Italy's build-up to the finals. That is the stumbling block preventing Spurs from announcing Trapattoni as their new coach.

The source said: "Spurs are very keen on Trapattoni but he wants to remain focused on Italy's European Championship campaign. He is interested in the position and I understand from Claudio that they have spoken to the chairman and David Pleat."

Trapattoni's salary with the Italian FA is believed to be only one million euros a year and he would at least double his earnings if Spurs offer him the equivalent of Hoddle's salary of around [pounds sterling] 1.25million, plus bonuses.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has met Trapattoni and spoken to him on at least two occasions, initially because Levy wanted advice on how a continental-style coaching model, with a first team coach and director of football in David Pleat, could work in the Premiership.

But these talks soon advanced towards the vacant role at the club.

PSV Eindhoven coach Gus Hiddink, who was in pole position for the job, is understood to have told Levy to count him out of the running.

Trapattoni's has a winning pedigree both at home and abroad only rivalled by Sir Alex Ferguson. …

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