Tottenham’s board four options to replace Antonio Conte as sack looms
Conte remains coy on Tottenham future after Champions League exit
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Under-pressure Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has admitted that he may lose his job following Spurs’ Champions League exit at the hands of AC Milan on Wednesday evening. The north London side were unable to overturn a 1-0 first leg deficit at home as a stalemate ensured that the Italians advanced to the quarter-finals of the competition.
Boos rang around the stadium as supporters voiced their discontent with the current state of affairs. Conte’s contract is up at the end of the season but growing friction between the boss and club pushed the Italian into claiming that there is a chance he could lose his job before the summer.
“Let’s see how the season ends,” Conte said after the game when asked about his future. “Maybe they can send me away even earlier. Perhaps the expectations were higher and may be disappointed. What matters for a coach is trying to work and raise the bar. This year we are struggling to raise the bar.”
Spurs could be on the lookout for a new boss in order to keep them in the top four and qualify for next season’s Champions League, with the likes of Liverpool and Newcastle ready to pounce if they stumble. Here, Express Sport has looked at four head coaches that could take over from Conte at Spurs if he is dismissed.
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Over three years on from Mauricio Pochettino’s dismissal as Spurs boss, the Argentine could be heading towards a reunion in north London. His name was sung at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Wednesday and the 51-year-old heads the list of likely replacements for Conte as the club’s most successful boss in recent years could make an emotional return.
After losing his job at Paris Saint-Germain, Pochettino opened the door to a potential return with his comments to talkSPORT in November. “I miss the Premier League,” Pochettino admitted. “Why not (return to manage in England)? We are open. I love England, I love living in London and Barcelona. And of course, if that possibility (to return) appears for sure we will consider taking it.”
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If Daniel Levy and the Spurs hierarchy opt against hiring a man they previously fired, Thomas Tuchel will appeal as an alternative to Pochettino. Many believed that the German was unfortunate to lose his job at Chelsea so early into the season, having won the Champions League in 2021.
A Tuchel appointment would ensure Spurs remain in ‘win-now’ mode which could help them convince Harry Kane to sign a new contract, while the team would not need time to learn a completely different system as both Conte and Tuchel prefer a back three shape which could help the new boss get off to a positive start.
Former Spain and Barcelona boss Luis Enrique is currently out of work and would be a very attractive proposition for Spurs if he was interested in moving to north London. The Athletic have claimed that sporting director Fabio Paratici would likely rather pick Enrique over Pochettino and the style of play the Spaniard attempts to adopt would appeal to Spurs fans.
Supporters have lambasted Conte for his defensive style of play, but Enrique does prefer to press high and play the attractive football that fans have been clamouring for.
Roberto De Zerbi
Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi has only been in the Premier League for a few months but has made a big impression on the rest of the division, taking over where Graham Potter left off and has the Seagulls playing some of the most exciting football in Europe.
However, whether De Zerbi would be interested in leaving Brighton remains to be seen and he may be an expensive hire compared to the other names on the list as CalcioMercato have claimed that he has a £11.5million release clause in his contract.
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