While Tottenham Hotspur and the rest of the Premier League are prepping for a return to training, rumors continue to swirl regarding Tottenham making changes to their football operations. We’re talking, of course, about the possibility of hiring LOSC Lille’s current Sporting Director, Luis Campos.
Since we wrote up the initial story of Spurs all but locking Campos into a deal, we’ve had conflicting reports come out. Let’s do some sleuthing and see if we can read between the lines.
First up is the Twitter account Get French Football News, an aggregator that tends to stick to quality sources. This dropped late last night:
L’Équipe affirm that Luis Campos has no intention of leaving Lille but is rather seeking for the club to make changes to the internal hierarchy. More follows tomorrow.— Get French Football News (@GFFN) May 19, 2020
Okay, so two things: First, Newcastle are already trying to throw around ridiculous amounts of cash. We’ve seen that with the rumors about Mauricio Pochettino joining the Tyneside club, but nothing has come up as of late. Second, L’Equipe stating Campos has no intention of leaving Lille. This seems pretty negative, but we still have to keep digging. While we would love to talk about the amazing ITK surrounding this, we don’t do that here. So let’s turn to Spurs beat writer Alasdair Gold:
As reported elsewhere, nothing in speculation that Luis Campos is imminently about to join Spurs. If he leaves Lille I'm sure Tottenham would want him and obviously Mourinho has a great relationship with him, but he's a man in demand. One of the game's best sporting directors.— Alasdair Gold (@AlasdairGold) May 19, 2020
Gold throwing cold water on this makes a lot of sense. Gold definitely has sources in the club and, sometimes, the club feeds him information that they want leaked out. He’s also not about to piss them off in any sense so this is safe reporting by him, especially if there’s any sort of negotiations going on between Spurs and Campos. The rest of what Gold says is absolutely true: Campos and Mourinho have a great relationship going back to their days at Real Madrid and Campos’ track record is pretty incredible. In our writers’ room yesterday, it was summed up as this: To get a 65th percentile sporting director is great. To get a 95th percentile one such as Campos is an absolute game changer.
So let’s circle back to L’Equipe at this point. The report from them is paywalled, but the opening paragraph has some juicy information, specifically the very first sentence:
Depuis samedi, Luis Campos (*) a volontairement disparu des radars du LOSC.
Simply put, Campos has checked out of Lille and nobody’s seen him since Saturday. They can’t get him on his phone and he’s skipped at least one video conference. Apparently further into the L’Equipe article is the report that this is his way of telling Lille that changes are needed or he isn’t going to stick around. Campos is also, reportedly, a sub-contractor so he can bail whenever he feels like and find a new club.
As if this rabbit hole couldn’t go any deeper on our way to Wonderland, ESPN has jumped in this morning with their own sourcing, stating that Campos is on his way out of Lille and is headed back to an old club:
Sources have told ESPN that although a number of clubs want to hire Campos he is likely to return to Monaco and that Tottenham are not interested in him.
The article itself states that Campos turned down the offer from Newcastle, which GFFN had earlier, and that Tottenham are not interested in him. Whether or not you believe that depends on how you define that word. Mourinho obviously would love to have him, but it’s not his decision to make. That falls on Daniel Levy and Joe Lewis, though seeing Lewis nowadays is like the sighting of a rare white elk. Levy last gave someone the powers of a sporting director to Pochettino and, prior to that, Franco Baldini.
Baldini, you’ll remember, was in charge of taking Uncle Joe’s AmEx and spending the Gareth Bale money before it arrived over the course of three years. Levy, being the chairman of the club, is currently the one who does the negotiating and he may not be too thrilled with turning over some of that power to another person.
So, the TL;DR of this entire thing is simple: Campos may be on the way out of Lille. Everyone and their brother wants him at their club. Tottenham are probably interested but they’re not advertising it and, when it’s all said and done, he may just end up back at Monaco. This story isn’t going away until Campos himself probably makes a statement. Until then, let the rumors swirl.