AVB didn’t want £56-million signings

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Andre Villas-Boas did not approve four of Tottenhams seven summer signings and asked chairman Daniel Levy not to buy them. Photo by Jamie McDonald

Andre Villas-Boas did not approve four of Tottenham’s seven summer signings and asked chairman Daniel Levy not to buy them.

Villas-Boas objected to the acquisitions of Erik Lamela, Nacer Chadli, Vlad Chiriches and Christian Eriksen, a quartet who cost Spurs a total of £56million, but his judgment was overruled.

The Portuguese manager asked his chairman to buy Hulk, Joao Moutinho and David Villa as he planned for life without Gareth Bale.

None of these signings materialised and the £110m recruitment drive lies at the heart of a power struggle inside White Hart Lane which culminated in the sacking of Villas-Boas on Monday.

Of Tottenham’s seven recruits, Villas-Boas wanted only Paulinho, Etienne Capoue and Roberto Soldado.

The rest were identified by Levy and technical director Franco Baldini. Although the manager approved of Levy’s decision to appoint a technical director, the relationship between Baldini and Villas-Boas soon disintegrated and the manager was left with players he had not approved. Villas-Boas did want Willian from Anzhi Makhachkala but Tottenham were beaten at the 11th hour by Chelsea in the race for the £30m Brazilian.

Spurs then turned to Eriksen and paid Ajax £11.5m for the Dane, who started the season brightly, but he was another player the manager did not want. More annoyingly for Villas-Boas, several of those he requested failed to appear.

Hulk had been desperate to leave Zenit St Petersburg and join with Villas-Boas, who he had worked with at Porto. Moutinho was also keen to be reunited with his former Porto boss, despite the collapse of a move to Spurs in August 2012, which left Villas-Boas furious.

The midfielder did exit Porto last summer and moved to Monaco along with James Rodriguez in a double deal worth £60m.

Hulk and Moutinho would have been expensive but Villa moved from Barcelona to Atletico Madrid for only £2m and has scored six in his last seven La Liga games. Of his four unwanted signings, Lamela proved the most contentious, mainly because he cost a club-record £30m and as a left-footed winger came the closest to a direct replacement for Bale.

Lamela made two Premier League starts under Villas-Boas, along with four appearances from the bench, and is yet to score in the competition. Eriksen and Chadli have not scored in the Premier League either, starting five and six games respectively, while Chiriches has started six league games and scored in the win over Fulham.

Villas-Boas was asked, after the Liverpool defeat, if he had chosen all seven signings and while he resisted the temptation to make his point, his hesitation spoke more loudly than words about the communication breakdown. A few hours later he was clearing his desk. – Daily Mail


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