Leonardo Gabbanini has left his position as Tottenham’s chief scout as the club restructures before the anticipated appointment of a new sporting director.
Gabbanini played a prominent role in the club’s summer transfer business, working closely with the chairman, Daniel Levy, and the manager, Ange Postecoglou, after the resignation of the managing director of football, Fabio Paratici, in April.
Postecoglou described the summer window as “unusual” in terms of how the club sought to drive wholesale change without a sporting director, although Paratici is understood to have helped out on a consultancy basis.
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With Postecoglou himself a new hire, the idea was not to rush the appointment of a sporting director. Gabbanini stepped up to enhance his reputation during a window that has come to be viewed in a positive light.
Postecoglou did make it clear at the end of it that he expected the appointment of a sporting director sooner rather than later. “Yes, that’s the club’s plan,” he said on 1 September. “I like working with a sporting director because they do most of the leg work that I just don’t have the time to do. When you’ve got a good sporting director you work together. They see the game through your eyes and they say: ‘This guy is going to be perfect for you.’”
Levy has said he is open to selling a stake in Tottenham if it could take the club “to another level”. He said offers had been rejected over the years from east Asia, the Middle East and the US.
“If anyone wants to make a serious proposition to the board of Tottenham, we will consider it along with our advisers,” Levy said in an interview with Bloomberg. “And if we felt it was in the interests of the club, we would be open to anything.”
Levy has been the chairman since 2001 and runs the club for the majority shareholder Enic, which owns 86.58% of Spurs, with the other 13.42% in the hands of about 30,000 shareholders. Levy and members of his family hold 29.88% of Enic.
“We are only custodians of this club,” Levy said. “Want to take this club to another level and I think we’ve shown progression over the last 20 years. We’ve made a big investment in our capital projects, in our team, and if someone came along and we felt it could take us to another level we’d look at it … I’ve got no real interest to leave Tottenham, but I have a duty to consider anything that anyone may want to propose. It’s not about me, it’s about what’s right for the club.”
Levy was pressed on the nature of the the buyback clause for Harry Kane, who joined Bayern Munich this summer. He said the details were confidential but that “if Harry one day wants to come back to the Premier League and he wants to come back to Tottenham, we would have the ability to purchase him”.