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Spurs in advanced talks with ex-Chelsea boss Conte: reports

London (AFP) – Tottenham are in advanced talks to make Antonio Conte their new manager after sacking Nuno Espirito Santo, according to widespread reports on Monday.

Former Inter Milan and Chelsea boss Conte is understood to be Tottenham’s top target to replace Nuno, who was dismissed on Monday after just four months in charge of the Premier League club.

Tottenham had approached Conte about succeeding the axed Jose Mourinho earlier this year but were unable to convince the Italian to take the job.

Reports suggested the Italian could be appointed within the next 24 hours.

If the 52-year-old accepts Tottenham’s offer, Conte would return to the Premier League three years after leaving their London rivals Chelsea, where he won the Premier League and the FA Cup.

Conte guided Inter Milan to the Serie A title last season but surprisingly left during the close-season.

The former Italy midfielder has also managed Juventus, where he won three Serie A titles, and took charge of the Italian national team from 2014 to 2016.

Nuno’s sacking came just two days after Tottenham’s woeful 3-0 defeat at home to Manchester United.

It was Tottenham’s fifth defeat in their past seven league games and the toxic reaction to the Portuguese coach at the stadium proved the final straw for chairman Daniel Levy.

With Tottenham languishing in eighth place, Levy and director of football Fabio Paratici are understood to have met on Sunday to discuss the 47-year-old’s fate.

Confirming Nuno’s departure after only 17 games, a statement from Tottenham on Monday said: “The club can today announce that Nuno Espirito Santo and his coaching staff Ian Cathro, Rui Barbosa and Antonio Dias have been relieved of their duties.”

Tottenham added that “a further coaching update will follow in due course”.

Former Wolves boss Nuno had been hired in June after Tottenham failed to lure a host of other candidates to replace Mourinho.

Conte would be tasked with ensuring Tottenham play more adventurous football than the dour fare served up by the tactically conservative Nuno. 

He would also have to get the best out of England captain Harry Kane, who has struggled to hit top form since his attempt to engineer a move to Manchester City was rebuffed by Levy.

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  1. Stevek

    November 2, 2021 at 3:33 pm

    Jesus you say “he likes things his way and when he doesn’t get what he wants he falls out with the board and ends up being sacked or he walks away” like this is a bad thing. With this attitude and mental toughness he’s won everywhere he’s been: in his last 7 seasons in club football he has won 5 league titles.

    Who walks into the Premier League and wins the title in their first season? That is some achievement and why it’s good news for Tottenham while he’s there.. He takes underperforming teams and immediately makes them better and leaves them in better shape than when he found them. Chelsea finished 10th in 2015-16, then he takes over and wins the Premier League in his first season 2016-17 and despite feuding with Marina Granovskaia every step of the way–he wanted Marina to buy Lukaku from Everton and Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton and she stubbornly refused–he then proceeded to win the FA Cup in year two. After being toyed with and sacked he took Abramovich to court and won every penny they owed him plus damages. He immediately turned Inter into a serious threat in year one, won the league in year two and only decided to leave after it became clear Suning was going to dismantle what he built–but the parting was amicable, Conte accepted a 7 million euro payout from Inter, which he will still receive in full.

    I think this is nothing short of a coup by Levy and the fact that Tottenham have Paratici, an Italian Director of Football to act as a buffer, who Conte is very familiar with, should bode well.

  2. Jesus

    November 1, 2021 at 6:10 pm

    Michealangelo, the reason why Conte has ended up in multiple clubs despite his talent is that he likes things his way and when he doesn’t get what he wants he falls out with the board and ends up being sacked or he walks away. There are some clubs where managers are given more say in how transfers are conducted but Spurs are not one of those which is why there’s so much concern for what happens at Spurs in the long term.

  3. Michelangelo

    November 1, 2021 at 2:47 pm

    I’m really shocked and surprised since we all now what Antonio Conte can do. He won Multiple titles in Italy for multiple clubs and also brought the Italian National team to the Euro 2016 Quarter-Finals. He will work well in England as he did with his days with Chelsea. It still comes to a shock to me since Manchester United really need a Coach with experience or even Barcelona for that manner due to the fact of their poor play. It’s upsetting to see a coach with so much talent and class go to multiple clubs. What a champion and best of luck to Tottenham with Antonio Conte. Maybe this can be a new era?

  4. Yespage

    November 1, 2021 at 2:12 pm

    Pochettino was about perfect for that organization. He got the club to well out perform their budget.

    Football gets so weird with managers!

  5. greg

    November 1, 2021 at 1:47 pm

    Yeah, I don’t see how this ends well given the egos involved. Levy clearly thinks the salve of maybe a Carabao Cup win or a good runs (or wins) in the Europa Conference & FA Cup run will be enough to sate the supporters. But you just know that Conte will throw a strop at some point next season and will be gone in a huff at the end of the 18 month deal if not before.

    What the Spurs board should do is remove Levy from any football decisions, hire a manager like Eddie Howe or Graham Potter & just assume you need to rebuild. Sell off any player of value – Kane, Ndombele, Dele, Bergwijn, Lloris, even Son. Get whatever you can, and spend wisely on young talent. Keep a few veteran heads like Højberg. Assume you’ll be out of UCL or even Europa Cup for two years, though maybe sneak in via FA Cup win or if a top 4 wins FA.

  6. Jesus

    November 1, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    Not sure how Conte and Levy will get along in the long term as both want the final say on transfers. Good hire in the short term but find it hard to believe it will last long. Will be interesting to see what Conte will do with the players Spurs have and how he sets them up to play.

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