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Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Levy and Mitchell disagree over N'Koudou, Njie deals


The morning after it would seem there is no great rift between Daniel Levy and Paul Mitchell. The former Saints man is simply a member of the backroom staff who more was expected of and both parties have mutually decided to go their separate ways.

Clearly there are differences of opinion. Mitchell will serve out his notice and then move on, one expects to Leicester City.

Vincent Labrune insisted Spurs must buy N'Koudou at a 'decent' price for Marseille to take Clinton Njie. Tottenham were allowing them to have him on loan, with a small £5.99-million (€7m  - AUS$10.12m - US$14.53m) fee, we would also have to contribute to his wages.

As part of the deal we agreed to buy N'Koudou for £11.11-million (€13m  - AUS$13.55m - US$18.80m) plus add-ons. With N'koudou not training, apart from gym work, and when Vincent Labrune officially resigned (everyone knew he was going at the end of the summer) we reduced the price we were willing to pay for N'Koudou to £5.13-million (€6m  - AUS$8.68m - US$6.71m) plus add-ons.

That, to me, smacks of two different people doing the negotiations. I'm beginning to suspect that Mitchell negotiated the first deal and took it to Daniel Levy who has then looked for a way out. N'Koudou is a Mitchell player, but the first deal doesn't sound at all like a Levy deal. When Mitchell arrived he was said to be the long term successor for Franco Baldini. Was this his trial negotiation?

I don't know that he was involved or whether it was Mitchell or our normal negotiators. I'm guessing, but it just doesn't add up. You don't suddenly cut a deal in half from being generous to, well, a typical Daniel Levy hard ball offer. In business initial negotiations are done by a team member and put before the chairman to be signed off or declined, the chairman doesn't do all the negotiations himself. I don't see Daniel Levy cutting his own deal in half, if he didn't want the deal he only has to cancel it.

The new Marseille president, Giovanni Ciccolungh, is incapable of negotiating a deal the French are suggesting and has had to hastily arrange a Sporting Director, Gunter Jacob, to take over, Marseille didn't have one before,they were running on bare bones staff. On the continent sporting director's (the old Franco Baldini role at Tottenham) do the negotiating.

It is suggested Paul Mitchell has resigned as a result of the new Spurs hard ball offer with Marseille insisting the initial deal must remain in place. Daniel Levy refuses to conduct business on those terms, so clearly it can't be his deal in the first place.

It would seem this deal is the reason for the resignations, perhaps what one party considers a good deal is not what another party considers a good deal and that difference is seeing two leave their posts. It should also be remembered these are not two 50 goal a season strikers who have resigned, just two backroom staff, of which there are plenty in the game.


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