Well, this puts something of a cat amongst the pigeons. As we all know, this week begun with Andre Villas-Boas being touted as the odds-on favourite to take over the vacant managerial post at Tottenham Hotspur. It's coming to an end, however, with Villas-Boas publicly rejecting, or seemingly rejecting, the notion that he's set to join Spurs any time in the near future.
Yes, you read that right. Sky Sports are reporting today that in an interview with the newspaper O Jogo today, Villas-Boas explicitly slapped down the rumour that he is about to become the new Spurs manager, bluntly stating that "there is nothing. It is all lies".
Of course, this statement requires some level of picking apart. What exactly about the rumours linking him to Spurs is Villas-Boas claiming is 'lies'? That he's interested in taking over the post enough to accept it? That he's been approached by Levy formally yet? That he even features on Levy's shortlist at all? Well, interestingly, former Sky Sports journalist Stevie Bateman claims to have some kind of insider info on the subject.
#AVB says links to #THFC job are "lies". More nonsense. He and Levy spoke, Levy offered contract, #AVB haggled, Levy bailed. End of.— Steve Bateman (@steviebateman) June 23, 2012
Currently, I'm leaning towards believing this particular take on the subject, or at least the part that rubbish the 'lies' claim. It's almost inconceivable to me, given the vast number of reports from media outlets varying from fairly reliable to reputable linking Villas-Boas to the Spurs job, that every sports journalist in the world currently covering this subject has been misled by their sources. We know there has been at the very least informal contact with Villas-Boas through third parties on the part of Daniel Levy, and I'd stake my house on the possibility that the Portuguese has been informed that he ranks very high on the chairman's shortlist for the post.
Given all this, it seems a little melodramatic of Villas-Boas to claim that there is nothing at all to the rumours that he's in the running for the Spurs gig. The question is thus why he's decided to describe it as "all lies"- is he just playing his cards close to his chest and trying to keep discussions kicking along in an informal way? Has Daniel Levy simply failed to convince him that he'll get the control over the club that he's reported to have demanded, and is this way of subtly telling us he's on the verge of backing out? Either way, it looks like the quick resolution we all want to this mess isn't forthcoming at the moment.