TOTTENHAM last night closed in on the appointment of Franco Baldini as director of football after the former England assistant confirmed his departure from Italian club Roma.
Baldini, who was No2 to Fabio Capello with the Three Lions, had offered his resignation to Roma after almost two years as their general manager, and was yesterday granted his release.
He is expected to join Tottenham, who are believed to be seeking an experienced operator to act as a conduit between board and manager Andre Villas-Boas, and to help with player recruitment.
The 52-year-old former midfielder was in his second spell with Roma, and also assisted Capello when his countryman was in charge at Real Madrid, before moving with him to work in the England set-up.
One of Baldini’s first tasks is likely to be helping to sign attacking reinforcements, with Spurs pursuing Brazilian long-term target Leandro Damiao and also linked with Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke.
North London rivals Arsenal, meanwhile, have confirmed the release of forward Andrey Arshavin, defender Sebastian Squillaci and midfielder Denilson as part of a summer clear-out of fringe players.