Tottenham Hotspur are poised to appoint Franco Baldini as their technical director after the Italian left his post as the general manager of Roma. Baldini has been keen to move to White Hart Lane and work with the manager, André Villas-Boas, with whom he has a good relationship, and he is now free to do so.
Tottenham have tracked Baldini for weeks, mindful that Villas-Boas has requested the support of a technical director in the club's transfer dealings. There threatened to be a sticking point with Baldini over compensation potentially owing to Roma: he had two years to run on his €1m-a-year (£850,000) contract.
But Baldini urged the Serie A club to release him and that it was in everyone's interests he left on amicable terms and, on Wednesday evening, Roma announced that they had "consensually ended the professional relationship with Franco Baldini".
Baldini, who was previously the general manager with England when Fabio Capello was manager, had resolved to leave Roma after being blamed, in part, for the club's recent poor performance. They finished seventh in Serie A in 2011-12 under Luis Enrique and ended this season sixth.
Villas-Boas spoke out last month of his desire to see the appointment of a technical director which, he hoped, would enable Tottenham to become slicker operators in the transfer market. It felt as though there was an element of frustration behind the plea, particularly when he said that he had pushed for it since his "first day" at Tottenham last summer.
Villas-Boas is used to working with a technical director, having profited, in particular, from the presence of Antero Henrique at Porto, and the Tottenham chairman, Daniel Levy, is an advocate of the two-tier continental-style structure. Levy inherited David Pleat as the director of football upon his arrival at the club in 2001 and he went on to employ Frank Arnesen and then Damien Comolli as sporting director. Levy did not replace the former chief scout Ian Broomfield, who departed for Queens Park Rangers last season and had been central to player recruitment.
Spurs continue to chase the Brazil and Internacional striker Leandro Damião. Inter would consider selling him for £25m, although, ideally, they would want closer to £30m. Tottenham failed with a £13m bid in January.