By Alex Taylor
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino tried to convince Paul Mitchell to stay at White Hart Lane before the 34-year-old quit the club.
Spurs confirmed on Tuesday night that Mitchell had resigned as the team’s head of recruitment to pursue “new avenues”.
The White Hart Lane transfer chief is understood to have decided to leave the north London outfit after growing frustrated with the club’s transfer business.
Mitchell will serve a notice period at Tottenham and he will work until the end of the summer transfer window, at least, as the club chase the “one or two” new signings that Pochettino said he was hoping to make.
Pochettino and the squad went out for dinner in central London on Wednesday night, and the manager said that Mitchell was in attendance.
“It’s obvious that happened,” Pochettino said to the Guardian, when asked whether he had tried to persuade Mitchell to stay. “But when you take a choice and there are personal things that happened, there’s nothing to do – only respect his decision.
“We carry on working. He’s with us, he’s in the office. Last night, we had a dinner with the squad and he was with us. Nothing has changed for the moment. This is the most important thing – that we work in the same way we were before it happened.”
Mitchell worked with manager Mauricio Pochettino at the Saints before he followed the Argentine to Tottenham in 2014 and it is said the pair worked closely and productively together.
It is suggested that the recruitment chief struggled to work with Levy, who is not only a notoriously hard-line negotiator but very hands-on in player recruitment.
Under Mitchell’s watch, Tottenham signed eight senior players, with the two major successes in Toby Alderweireld and Dele Alli.
Mitchell was a defender and midfielder for Wigan and MK Dons before moving into the backroom setup there, when injury curtailed his playing career, and became a talent spotter when Karl Robinson took charge in 2010.
He is largely credited for Southampton’s hugely successful recruitment policy developed from when he joined them in 2012 and which sustained them in the early years of their promotion to the Premier League.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy brought in Mitchell as part of his club restructuring plan and had to negotiate a deal with Southampton, where he oversaw their recruitment and the analysis department, to land the transfer expert.
In other Tottenham transfer news, Spurs see this player as a star in the making.