According to Spurs beat writer Matt Law, Franco Baldini's time as Technical Director of Tottenham Hotspur may be coming to a close. Writing for the Telegraph, Law is reporting that Baldini will step down from his role at the end of the summer transfer window, and David Hytner at the Guardian has corroborated the report.
It's been rumored that Baldini would leave the club for a couple of years now, but this is the first time that there has been more than nebulous suggestions that Baldini is stepping down. Appointed by Andre-Villas Boas to handle transfer negotiations, Baldini had a key role in the signing of the so-called "Bale Seven" purchased for a reported £110m in part through the proceeds from the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid in 2013.
As Tottenham fans are well aware, those signings didn't exactly pan out. Of the seven players purchased with the Bale money, only Erik Lamela, Nacer Chadli, and Christian Eriksen are anywhere close to the starting lineup. Three of them – Paulinho, Vlad Chiriches, and Etienne Capoue – are already sold, and Roberto Soldado is strongly linked away from the club after a disastrous two years at Spurs.
However, since AVB's departure from the club, it's never really been made clear what exactly Franco Baldini does for Tottenham. Mauricio Pochettino doesn't really operate under a Director of Football model, and he promptly brought in Paul Mitchell from his former club Southampton to identify and target potential transfer signings. Both Law and Hytner suggest that Baldini has been primarily responsible in recent weeks for the glut of player sales that have taken place in this window, and with Mitchell essentially doing his job it's not difficult to understand why he might be heading for the door.
Baldini is reportedly a shrewd negotiator with a host of personal connections, as he displayed while serving in a similar role with Roma. Over the past few years he and Spurs chairman Daniel Levy have worked to overhaul Spurs' scouting and recruiting system, one that has only just begin to bear fruit. If he does leave the club as it is strongly suggested, it's very likely that Baldini will land on his feet with another club.