Andre Villas-Boas flies into London to begin career comeback at Tottenham Hotspur
ANDRE Villas-Boas has flown in to London ahead of an announcement expected later today on his three-year deal to become the new manager of Tottenham Hotspur.
Just four months after he was sacked by Chelsea, Villas-Boas has agreed a deal to succeed Harry Redknapp who was dismissed last month.
It caps a remarkable turnaround for the 34-year-old Portuguese who is highly regarded by Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, who immediately shelved plans to speak to another manager, such as the now former France coach Laurent Blanc, and will be tasked with eventually creating a younger team as well as qualify for the Champions League.
The club are also hoping to announce two key signings. An £8 million deal has been agreed with Hoffenheim for the attacking midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, while the transfer of defender Jan Vertonghen for £9.5 million should also go through once the Belgium international has settled a dispute with Ajax over the percentage of the fee he is due.
Spurs are also hoping to sign the exciting Brazil playmaker Oscar, who already has five full international caps, from his club Internacional but face competition from several of Europe’s leading clubs.
Villas-Boas will not embark on a radical overhaul of the Spurs squad, but will try to give it more strength in depth and gradually reduce the average age. Signings such as Sigurdsson, 22, Oscar, 20 and the return of another 20-year-old Steven Caulker, on loan last season at Swansea City, are indicative of the direction the club are going in.
Vertonghen, at 25, is at the higher end of the age of player they want to recruit although there does remain a chance that a deal can be struck with 28-year-old Emmanuel Adebayor, who was on loan last season.
Settling on a striker is a priority for Spurs, who only have Jermain Defoe, who will be told he cannot leave this summer. Ledley King is not expected to agree a new deal while there is some uncertainty over the future of Rafael van der Vaart, who has indicated he would like to return to Germany.
Kyle Naughton, on loan at Norwich City, could be sold so Villas-Boas will need to find another full-back as Spurs have already let Vedran Corluka move to Lokomotiv Moscow.
The biggest question of all for Spurs is whether they can hang on to Luka Modric, who appears set to hand in a transfer request. Levy values the midfielder at £50 million and will sell but only to an overseas club.
Real Madrid have cooled their interest and the only recent inquiry Spurs have received is from Chelsea, who failed with three bids last summer, including one of £40 million, for Modric. There is also concern that Scott Parker might have to undergo surgery on his troublesome Achilles.
Spurs will embark on a pre-season tour to the United States by which time Villas-Boas will have appointed an assistant manager and a first-team coach. He will work closely with Tim Sherwood, the club’s technical co-ordinator.