While most of the focus of transfer speculation is naturally on the players that Tottenham Hotspur are trying to bring to White Hart Lane, one of their first moves might be to sign a Director of Football, something that Andre Villas-Boas has mentioned that he would like at the club.
The name most frequently linked is Franco Baldini, Roma’s general manager and formerly Fabio Capello’s assistant manager for England. And despite confirming he would stay last month we all know that football often has a penchant for the changeable.
Baldini has overseen a huge change at Roma, with the Italian club keen to try and emulate Barcelona’s system of developing their own players and indeed their slick passing style on the pitch.
This has not been a success so far, with managers Luis Enrique and Zdenek Zeman both being sacked in the past couple of years, and Baldini himself taking the blame for their poor season this time around, and there are now rumours that the 52-year-old is preparing to jump ship to Tottenham Hotspur.
There is unlikely to be a massive chance at Spurs under Baldini, where their youth academy has benefitted hugely from their new training centre, and there is already a clear philosophy of attacking football.
However the Italian will be used to aid their work in the transfer market should he come, and there are indications there will be a clear move from Spurs next season to establish a new system to support their attacking play.
Andre Villas-Boas is undoubtedly an attacking manager, and he has said this summer that he considers this the “Tottenham way”. The Portuguese might be planning to move to the 4-3-3 system he used at Porto next season, with two wide forwards surrounding a central striker.
There will need to be reinforcements to support this change, and Spurs have been linked with a plethora of young, exciting players. Interestingly Baldini has a record of bringing young Brazilian players to Europe, something that Spurs are apparently considering this summer, and it is a strategy they might plan on using with Villas-Boas at the helm.
Despite achieving good results this year, Spurs were still a side in transition, and it is next year that Villas-Boas will be planning to truly implement his system and style of play on the team. Baldini could be an important part of this if he comes to White Hart Lane, and Spurs might aim to be an even more attacking team next season.