Daniel Levy’s ex-boyfriend Darren Eales about his former boss and his love for Spurs

Darren Eales has already hatched a plan if his former boss, and one of football’s most famous negotiators, comes to call.

Few know the tricks and tell about Daniel Levy better than Tottenhamthe former managing director, who spent five seasons in north London. Even fewer hold such a convincing swamp patch. Eales has leverage to stay deep in its archives.

‘(Daniel) lives and breathes work, lives and breathes Tottenham,’ he says Sportsmail. ‘The one thing I will always remember, though. I love doing karaoke and we played in Moscow. We had gone up to the rooftop bar and happened to have karaoke. ‘

Darren Eales has already hatched a plan if his old boss Daniel Levy comes to call

Eales spent five seasons in north London as Spurs' managing director reporting to Levy

Eales spent five seasons in north London as Spurs’ managing director reporting to Levy

So Eales – now the very successful president of MLS suit Atlanta United – applied persuasive powers perfected under the Spurs president.

‘I forced him to do it Crocodile Rock by Elton John, ‘Eales remembers. How was Levy’s voice? ‘It was a faithful interpretation. I won’t mark it for quality! But he enjoyed himself … ‘

‘I have it somewhere on an old phone that I’ll have to dig out someday.’ The former lawyer laughs.

‘Maybe when we sell a player to Spurs.’

His former boss is certainly in the market for signings this summer. Tottenham have received a £ 150m injection while Levy is fighting to hold Antonio Conte.

The Italian led Spurs back to the Champions League but refused to commit his future to the club. It seems to be a few months younger in north London.

“I know sometimes he’s a bit of a stick,” Eales says, “he’s a tough negotiator, but his heart is full on Tottenham … from where the club was to the training facility they have now, the stadium through all that Daniel has done. ‘

After arriving in 2010, Eales helped Levy negotiate a lot of turbulence. He secured deals for Gareth Bale, Rafael van der Vaart and Luka Modric. He helped hire Mauricio Pochettino and was there during early designs of the new stadium, which now stands as a shining emblem of Tottenham’s ambition.

Eales helped hire Mauricio Pochettino and was there during early designs of the new stadium which now stands as a shining emblem of Tottenham’s ambition.

Eales helped hire Mauricio Pochettino and was there during early designs of the new stadium which now stands as a shining emblem of Tottenham’s ambition.

‘(Daniel) just demands a lot from everyone – he’s always on,’ Eales says. ‘It used to be with BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). He would literally send you the ping if you didn’t answer within 10 minutes … you should always have the phone on – Daniel would hardly sleep. ‘

The deal that remains most prominent in his mind came in the summer of 2010 – the first transfer window of Eales after a move from West Brom.

“We’re both at the gym – (Daniel) is in the next room, saying, ‘What about Van der Vaart for this price?’

That BBM landed on Eales’ phone about 90 minutes before the window closed.

“I thought he was joking,” he recalls. If only. And so Spurs began a four-way negotiation – with Real Madrid, with Van der Vaart, with their agents. And with the clock. ‘We made that deal in an hour and 30 minutes.’

Even after electricity. “That was a nervous, sleepless night,” Eales recalls. But the transfer was ratified the following morning and Levy’s edge was repaid with a midfield genius.

After arriving in 2010, Eales helped Levy negotiate deals for the likes of Rafael van der Vaart.

After arriving in 2010, Eales helped Levy negotiate deals for the likes of Rafael van der Vaart.

His stubbornness over Harry Kane also bore fruit. Eales allowed himself a “sly smile” last summer when Kane tried and failed to force a move to Manchester City.

‘I wasn’t really surprised,’ he says. ‘It was always helpful for me to work with him, everyone knew Daniel was hard. And in negotiation, he will not blink. With Harry he will never blink. After he says’ this is the position ‘, you know he’ll keep it.’

It’s a tactic Eales himself used when Newcastle approached Atlanta on signing Miguel Almiron in 2019. The MLS side named their price; Newcastle later paid a club record £ 20.5 million.

Another trick Eales did across the pond? Codenames designed to hide possible transfers in secret. “They had a boring code when I joined (Tracks), which was just A1, A2,” Eales recalls. ‘I said,’ We need to have something more interesting. ”

The idea: he and Levy could discuss high-profile players without even club staff knowing who could come or go.

The problem: they were clearly too cryptic. Eales forgot them all. Levy gave up any pretext of mystery when Spurs tried to secure a loan for David Bentley. Talks were scheduled for dinner at the end of a Premier League meeting.

‘I’ll chat with those two clubs and see if we can do anything,’ Eales told his boss.

He recalls, “There are about eight of us there, I’m chatting and you can’t just go straight in and say, ‘Hey, do you want a Bentley?’

Instead he chewed the fat and soon a number of avenues opened up. “I look at my phone and it’s like 17 (messages) from Daniel saying, ‘Have we made a deal yet?’

‘He’s sitting literally on another table, it’s like,‘ Come on man! ’’ Eales laughs. ‘He always pushes the envelope.’

Eales also pressed Real Madrid's £ 86 million World Record fee for Gareth Bale in 2013.

Eales also pressed Real Madrid’s £ 86 million World Record fee for Gareth Bale in 2013.

Never again, perhaps, then in 2013, when he pressed a world record £ 86 million fee from Real Madrid for Bale.

That negotiation was handed over to Eales at eleven o’clock after Levy collapsed with Madrid president Florentino Perez.

“I think it was the night before we ended the deal,” he recalls. – It was like two in the morning and I took over. It was almost like, “I just finished.”

Can you blame him? ‘That was the most complicated deal – different currencies for different payments because everyone was discussing every aspect of the deal. Real Madrid wanted it to be lower than (Cristiano) Ronaldo’s … so we had to create it in some way so that they could say it was lower – even though it wasn’t.

“It was just Daniel saying, ‘I want the biggest transfer.’

Eales is now the highly successful president of MLS suit Atlanta United (pictured, 2018)

Eales is now the highly successful president of MLS suit Atlanta United (pictured, 2018)

Now, in the United States, David Beckham is the equivalent of Eales in MLS. They talked as Beckham tried to build Inter Miami from scratch.

And they’re back for a while: Beckham came to coach at Spurs in 2011, playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

They needed a signed affidavit, a signed resignation, ‘Eales recalls. ‘David was like,’ I just want to train. Work out everything you want. ”

And so the former lawyer began to write: “I, David Beckham, deny any rights …” The signing continued. De Beckham went to train.

David Beckham is the equivalent of Eales and they talked while he was trying to build Inter Miami

David Beckham is the equivalent of Eales and they talked while he was trying to build Inter Miami

“I’m in my office, I’m looking up, there’s a Sky Sports camera and Beckham has his ankle and he’s being watched by the physio,” Eales recalls.

‘I kr ***** myself (and) run out.’ When he reached the pitch, Beckham left. “He only had a blister, so they just cut the tape from his ankle,” Eales was told.

His panic subsided, and fears over whether the affidavit would be brought to justice. No doubt he and Levy had a plan to negotiate their way out of that little annoyance, anyway.

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