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New Tottenham manager: What we know so far as ‘Conte agrees deal to take charge’

·7-min read
 (ES Composite)
(ES Composite)

For the second time in less than 18 months, Tottenham are looking for a new manager.

Just a few hours passed between Mauricio Pochettino's five-and-a-half-year reign ending and Jose Mourinho's 17-month reign beginning, but Spurs are taking their time with the next appointment.

Ryan Mason was installed as interim head coach until the end of the season, but chairman Daniel Levy is expected to make a higher-profile permanent choice for next season.

A host of names across Europe have been linked, though Spurs are looking into bringing Pochettino back to the club while reports have also linked former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte to the job.

Here's the latest on Tottenham's next manager search...

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The profile

Tottenham flipped philosophy from Mauricio Pochettino’s expansive brand of football, on the front foot with a high press, to Jose Mourinho’s defensive-minded approach of sitting back, soaking up pressure and counter-attacking.

It is thought Daniel Levy is looking for someone more in the mould of Pochettino for his next appointment, though money is tight so no big name is expected to be holding up a Spurs scarf anytime soon.

Levy wants progressive football with a focus on bringing through younger talent, and the manager would currently have to work with a transfer committee regarding player signings, rather than have full say on who comes in and out.

Having discussed a lengthy selection of names based on the above criteria, Levy is now understood to have narrowed down the possible candidates to a shortlist ahead of starting talks with potential new managers.

The candidates

 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Julian Nagelsmann

RB Leipzig’s Julian Nagelsmann was understood to be Tottenham’s first choice for the vacancy, the club having long held an interest in the 33-year-old which dates back to before Jose Mourinho’s time at the club.

However, turmoil a war of words between Bayern Munich and treble-winning head coach Hansi Flick has prompted the German giants into action. They quickly stumped up the reported £20million fee for Nagelsman to secure his services from the summer.

Flick has now been confirmed as a replacement for the outgoing Joachim Low as Germany head coach following Euro 2020.

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

Brendan Rodgers

Another name with plenty of admirers in N17 is Brendan Rodgers. After success at both Liverpool, Celtic and currently Leicester City, the former Chelsea coach is considered among the best British managers in the game who offers an attractive brand of football.

However, Rodgers has moved to end any speculation over his future by insisting he has no interest in joining Spurs. Telling reporters: “Tottenham is a great club, one of the biggest clubs in Britain but for me I’m just in a really, really happy place in my life.

“I’m very happy here. I have huge respect here for the players, the board and I really feel that I want to continue my work here.

“I’ve got a really strong relationship with the board. We work very closely together. I’ve got a set of players that give me their heart and soul every single day and also I can see a future here in terms of the development of the squad.”

In any case, FA Cup winner Rodgers is understood to be on a big wage at the King Power Stadium and Levy being able to offer a similar package, while also continuing to pay the sacked Mourinho, is unclear.


Erik ten Hag

As such, Ajax’s Erik ten Hag was understood to be high up Levy’s list. The 51-year-old has won everything domestically with the Dutch giants and, with a little over 12 months to run on his contract, would command a smaller fee to lure to north London.

The Guardian reported that a meeting between Tottenham and Ten Hag was expected as Daniel Levy looked to wrap up an appointment before the summer, with Ten Hag open to discussions.

However, Ten Hag has since signed a contract extension at Ajax to end speculation over his future.

 (APA/AFP via Getty Images)
(APA/AFP via Getty Images)

Ralph Rangnick

Another name in the frame is Ralph Rangnick, who is currently head of sport and development at Red Bull after two spells as manager at Leipzig.

He has been credited as influencing the likes of Nagelsmann and Jurgen Klopp and is credited with moulding the idea of Gegenpressing. However, he has not been directly involved in coaching for two years.


Graham Potter

Graham Potter is understood to be of interest having impressed on the south coast with Brighton’s style of play, though may prove difficult to acquire from Brighton having signed a long-term contract which runs until 2025.

Albion deputy chairman and chief executive Paul Barber recently told The Argus: “We have no desire whatsoever to lose Graham. Graham is very happy here ... As far as we are concerned there is absolutely no way we would allow Graham to leave at this time.”

Potter echoed Barber’s comments last week, telling reporters: "We haven't finished anything here, there's a lot to do and I am really happy here. It's nice to hear Paul say that, he doesn't have to, but it's nice."

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Mauricio Pochettino

Who better to fit the mould of a ‘Mauricio Pochettino-type’ manager than the man himself.

Daniel Levy is looking into bringing the Argentine back, who has one year remaining on his contract at Paris Saint-Germain and is attracted to the possibility.

Pochettino’s possible return has reportedly reached the players, who are “excited” by the prospect, a possible ace up Levy’s sleeve amid the ongoing certainty over Harry Kane’s future.

Press Association add that Pochettino was in London, though it remains unclear in what capacity. The Independent, who first reported interest in a reunion, claim PSG do not want to lose Pochettino, meaning the head coach would likely need to resign to force an exit.

The Sun have gone further by claiming talks between Pochettino and Spurs will step up next week, with the manager ready to ask Kane to stay one more season.

Fresh reports from Goal on Sunday claim that Pochettino has now told PSG of his desire to leave, despite the club appearing to trigger an extension to his contract.

On Tuesday, talkSPORT claimed that Pochettino’s relationship with PSG sporting director Leonardo is now beyond repair and one of them will leave the club this summer, while Football.London said Pochettino has a real determination to return to Spurs.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Antonio Conte

Will Spurs replace one former Chelsea manager with another?

Antonio Conte’s timely exit from Inter Milan, fresh from winning Serie A, has seen him in contention for the Tottenham job - a vacancy the Italian is interested in.

Real Madrid brought in Carlo Ancelotti, closing another route for Conte and Standard Sport understands an approach for the ex-Inter head coach has been made amid continual delays over Pochettino.

Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio adds that there is a €3m salary disparity between what Conte wants and what Spurs are prepared to offer, though talks are continuing regarding backroom staff and salary, with a decision is expected soon.

Spurs are also trying to team the coach with sporting director Fabio Paratici, who is a free agent after leaving Juventus and previously worked with Conte at the club.

On Thursday, talkSPORT claimed Conte had agreed a deal to take charge, and Paratici would follow him, after 48 hours of negotiation, with Spurs confident they had finally found Mourinho’s successor.

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

Anyone else?

England manager Gareth Southgate and his Belgium counterpart Roberto Martinez have also been linked with the job, though neither are understood to be of interest.

Fulham’s Scott Parker, who left his coaching role at the club to move to Craven Cottage, has also been linked, while Rafa Benitez is an experienced, out-of-work coach. Massimiliano Allegri was re-hired by Juventus, meanwhile.

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo has confirmed he will be leaving the club at the end of the season, prompting his odds to tumble in the hours afterwards, but is understood to be a target for Crystal Palace and Everton.

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