Paulo Fonseca strikes agreement in principle to take over at Tottenham as Jose Mourinho’s successor

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Paulo Fonseca left Roma at the end of last season - SHUTTERSTOCK
Paulo Fonseca left Roma at the end of last season - SHUTTERSTOCK

Paulo Fonseca is understood to have agreed in principle a contract until 2023 with Tottenham Hotspur, with a one-year optional extension, bringing closer the end of the club's long search for a successor to Jose Mourinho.

The deal is being concluded ahead of the formal presentation of the club's new sporting director Fabio Paratici, formerly of Juventus, who has led the managerial search in the last few days.

Fonseca, 48, is now in place to take the job pending agreement on the paperwork and the final agreement of chairman Daniel Levy, who has been in the Bahamas with principal shareholder Joe Lewis.

Fonseca left his previous job at Roma in May, to be replaced by Mourinho. He was not Spurs' first choice for the role but was identified as being a developer of young players who is capable of playing the attacking football that Levy identified as crucial in his recent letter to Spurs fans.

Fonseca is expected to travel to London to finalise the deal over the weekend or early next week. He will not be working with the same team of assistants whom he has used for the key part of his coaching career.

His long-term assistant Nuno Campos has announced that, after 15 years working in Fonseca’s coaching team, the two will amicably go their separate ways.

Posting on Instagram, Campos - who worked with Fonseca at the start of his career when he began in amateur Portuguese football - reflected on their achievements together. The two men began as a partnership in senior football in 2007 at Sociedade Uniao 1 de Dezembro, a club currently in the sixth tier of Portuguese football with a home stadium in the town of Sintra that holds just 1,000 fans.

They also managed at Odivelas, currently in the Portuguese lower leagues, and then Club Desportivo Pinhalnovense and Aves, also both low in the professional hierarchy, before their transformative time at Paços de Ferreira.

Campos wrote: “Let's always have a laugh and remember what we've done together and what we're going to accomplish in our own way, while always supporting each other. Fifteen years is almost a lifetime. I am grateful because I was very happy to work to become an experienced professional. Now it's time for us to take separate professional paths.”

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