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‘He is very good at’: Manager’s 2020 claim tells Tottenham what Levy reportedly rejected in coach

Tottenham Hotspur shelved plans to appoint Gennaro Gattuso as the club’s next manager after considering the Italian as an alternative for Paulo Fonseca.

Daniel Levy opened talks with Gattuso over moving to north London on Thursday afternoon, per the Guardian. But The Athletic report they stopped considering the former AC Milan and Napoli head coach by Friday morning.

Fonseca was Managing Director Fabio Paratici’s choice as Jose Mourinho’s successor, but financial issues saw talks end. The ex-Roma boss wanted Spurs to reimburse him for the cash he would lose after receiving tax breaks in Italy.

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Levy was not willing to sanction Fonseca’s demands and swiftly turned efforts toward Gattuso. The Italian was free to hold talks over being the north Londoners’ next manager after walking out on Fiorentina.

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He lasted just 22 days at the Serie A side before falling out with the hierarchy over their transfer policy. But he lasted less than a day on Spurs’ shortlist after fans got #NoToGattuso trending over issues with his past comments.

Fiorentina had appointed Gattuso as their new boss after he left Napoli having failed to qualify for the Champions League. The 43-year-old spent 18-months in Naples as Carlo Ancelotti’s successor from 2019, after an 18-month Milan gig.

Gattuso arrived in Naples with the club seventh in the table after failing to win any of their last nine games. And that is where they finished, but then-Serie A rival Roberto De Zerbi praised Gattuso when Sassuolo visited Napoli last July.

“He is very good at recharging and motivating the team,” De Zerbi said, via All Football. “He did an extraordinary job, he won the Coppa Italia, drew with Barcelona and revitalised Napoli. The esteem he has for me, is the same I feel for him.”

De Zerbi told Tottenham what they could’ve got with Gattuso

De Zerbi’s comments from last July now tell Tottenham fans what they could have expected with Gattuso as their manager. As Levy and Paratici would have tasked the Italian with a similar role to what Napoli issued on his arrival.

Tottenham would have wanted Gattuso to revitalise a squad that finished seventh in the Premier League last term. While the only European football Spurs can use to attract targets is the new Europa Conference League.

Gattuso would have had to do an ‘extraordinary’ job motivating the Tottenham squad to turn things around in north London. But he was not given the opportunity to show his managerial credentials given the backlash from fans.

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