Lille owner Gerard Lopez “had to read all sorts of crap about” Tottenham taking two of their coaches.
Assistant manager Joao Sacramento and goalkeeping coach Nuno Santos left the Ligue Un club in November to join Jose Mourinho after he was appointed Mauricio Pochettino’s managerial replacement at Tottenham.
It had been suggested in some quarters that Tottenham had poached the young pair, a claim Lopez denies.
He enjoys a close relationship with Mourinho and insists he held conversations with the Portuguese, Daniel Levy and Sacramento and Santos themselves about the prospect of them leaving at some point for a different challenge.
“Jose, who is also a friend of mine, never stole two guys from us, never,” Lopez said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
“I had to read all sorts of crap about that. The two guys that went (Nuno Santos and Joao Sacramento) came to us in the summer telling us – and this was way before Jose signed at Tottenham. They told us that they were maybe looking for the opportunities and if the opportunities came along, if we would allow them to go.
“We said, both Luis and myself, ‘yes, at the end of the season’, OK. And to be very transparent, we thought Jose would have a job at the end of the season and so yes, they might join him and we talked openly with Jose about it.
“[Jose] called me and said ‘look, what do you think? If we offer the guys’. The CEO of Tottenham called me also and said ‘would you let them go?’
“How would two people go who have a contract with me if I wasn’t OK with that?”
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