For the second time in 20 months, Spurs are looking for a new boss. 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 over two months have no passed without a permanent successor.
Here’s the latest on Tottenham’s next manager search…
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.
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.
Flick has now been confirmed as a replacement for the outgoing Joachim Low as Germany head coach following Euro 2020.
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.
“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.
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.
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 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.”
Who better to fit the mould of a ‘Mauricio Pochettino-type’ manager than the man himself.
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… but Spurs failed to convince PSG to allow them to take Pochettino back, regarldess of the Argentine’s desires.
Spurs had been locked in talks with the out-of-work former Inter Milan and Chelsea coach, but have decided against making Conte an offer amid concerns over his demands, including a perceived reluctance to work with young players.
Reports in Italy suggested Conte had his own concerns over Tottenham’s ability to challenge for top trophies immediately, and was frustrated by the club refusing to allow him more than four members of coaching staff.
Sources at Spurs insist Conte’s demands proved unrealistic and he was ultimately deemed a poor fit for the club.
Spurs are pushing ahead with plans to appoint Fabio Paratici – who worked with Conte at Juventus – as director of football, but the breakdown in talks with the former Chelsea coach is the latest blow in their search for a permanent successor to Jose Mourinho, who was sacked on April 19.
Former AS Roma boss Fonseca then emerged as a strong candidate. The 48-year-old, who has also managed Shakhtar Donetsk, was sacked in May, with Mourinho announced as his successor on the same day.
It was another twist in an eventful search for Mourinho’s replacement. He is out of a job after two years at the Stadio Olimpico, where he failed to get the club back in the Champions League, delivering finishes of fifth and seventh in Serie A.
He was much more successful with Shakhtar, winning three successive doubles, while also securing silverware with Braga and Porto.
News broke this week that Gennaro Gattuso was suddenly a target after leaving Fiorentina, just 22 days into his reign, over disagreements with the club board over transfer targets.
Paratici admires Gattuso and held talks with the former AC Milan midfielder during his time at Juventus, but discussions with Spurs did not advance amid fierce fan backlash over the Italian’s history of controversial comments about women, same-sex marriage and racism.
So it’s back to square one.
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 a target for Crystal Palace and Everton.