Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed the appointment of Franco Baldini as their new technical director, as the club chairman Daniel Levy reverts to the two-tier management structure that he has long favoured.
Baldini arrives from Roma, where he held a similar position, albeit with a different title – that of general manager – and he has essentially been charged with making Tottenham bigger and better players in the transfer market.
He will oversee recruitment at all levels of the club, from André Villas-Boas's first team to Tim Sherwood's youth set-up. Sherwood, the head of football development, carries particular responsibility for the under-21 team, which is managed by Chris Ramsey, and he already works in tandem with the academy manager John McDermott.
Villas-Boas has championed the appointment of a technical director who, he hopes, can recommend transfer targets, close deals with the minimum of fuss and, also, allow him to concentrate on his primary function as a coach.
The Portuguese, who on Tuesday turned down the chance to manage Paris Saint-Germain, has been keen to welcome "someone who has experience of dressing rooms, represents the club and is able to link up with players and agents," and Baldini, the former Bologna, Bari and Pescara player, fits the profile.
Baldini has also worked for the Football Association as the assistant manager during Fabio Capello's time in charge of England and as Real Madrid's sporting director.
"Franco is extremely well respected in the industry, possessing an extensive knowledge of players around the world," Levy said. "He will strengthen our football management team, particularly in the field of recruitment, working closely with André Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood across all levels on the playing side."
Levy is an advocate of the two-tier structure, largely because he feels it aids continuity and means that a squad does not necessarily have to be overhauled when a manager departs. He inherited David Pleat as the director of football when he arrived at Tottenham in 2001 and he went on to employ Frank Arnesen and Damien Comolli as the sporting director.