Controversial former Newcastle United employee set to join Premier League rivals

St James Park was an unhappy place during his time working within the Magpies recruitment department.

Former Newcastle United ‘technical co-ordinator’ Jeff Vetere has reportedly accepted a role working at Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

The former Luton Town apprentice spent time with Charlton Athletic and Real Madrid before being appointed to a newly-created role in Mike Ashley’s controversial restructure at St James Park in January 2008.

Working alongside then-director of football Dennis Wise and vice president (player recruitment) Tony Jimenez, Vetere was tasked with discovering young players with sell-on value to work in line with Ashley’s stringent recruitment policy.

Speaking to the club website in the aftermath of the appointments, then-United manager Kevin Keegan: “The principle idea is to go and look for new players and bring a lot of youngsters in to shore up what we probably have not got in our Academy and it’s really for my benefit.

“This Club has got the potential to search and bring in players who can take this Club on.  I’m all for the changes and approve of them.

“If they want someone on the board who knows football then Dennis Wise knows football and I think it will work very well.

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“You guys (the media) can write what you want and of course you will but I think it’s a positive thing.

“These changes are necessary because we are not packaged quite right, like this club Arsenal is at the moment.”

However, cracks started to appear just months later when the Magpies allowed James Milner to depart in a £13.5m move to Aston Villa before authorising the controversial deals to sign Deportivo la Coruna striker Xisco and Uruguayan midfielder Ignacio Gonzalez.

Keegan departed from his role at St James Park in the aftermath of the closure of the transfer window and successfully took legal action against the Magpies for ‘constructive dismissal’.

Vetere followed Keegan out of the door in February 2010 but was rumoured to be in line for a return to Tyneside in September of the same year.

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That move never materialised and he went on to work in scouting roles at Aston Villa and Fulham before spending a 10-month spell as director of football between May 2017 and March 2018.

BirminghamLive have now reported Vetere has returned to the game after accepting a role working within Spurs recruitment department, with the responsibility of scouting international players for the club’s Under-21s side.