• June 20, 2021

Exclusive: Tottenham to return for Antonio Conte, Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino irritation, and Erik ten Hag talk

 Exclusive: Tottenham to return for Antonio Conte, Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino irritation, and Erik ten Hag talk


Tottenham Hotspur have had a chastening week in their hunt for a new manager with their move to land Antonio Conte failing.

Spurs had looked set to name the ex-Chelsea and Inter Milan boss as Jose Mourinho’s replacement but the two parties were unable to find an agreement.

Conte looked on the verge of being announced as Tottenham’s new boss but things changed quickly

AFP

Conte looked on the verge of being announced as Tottenham’s new boss but things changed quickly

Some reports in Italy suggest Conte did not feel the club were able to compete for silverware in the immediate future and would have required significant financial backing.

There were also claims Tottenham may not have happy with Conte’s views on giving youngsters Oliver Skipp and Ryan Sessegnon a chance, while Harry Kane’s uncertain future was another sticking point.

It leaves the Lilywhites, who sacked Mourinho in late April, closing in on two months without a manager, although they are set to appoint ex-Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici as director of football.

So what next for Spurs and chairman Daniel Levy as time ticks by in a vital summer for the club as they look to bounce back from a tough two years.

Levy needs to to work quickly to appoint a new manager after the Conte talks broke down

AFP or licensors

Levy needs to to work quickly to appoint a new manager after the Conte talks broke down


Antonio Conte

Is the deal in anyway salvageable?

The Italian boss is clearly the most talented man on the market now and, arguably, one of the top five coaches in world football at his point in time.

It would be no surprise if Spurs did move back in for Conte and Italian football expert Gabriele Marcotti believes the breakdown may just be the two parties battling for a better deal.

“I wouldn’t even necessarily take it as a given that this is done with,” Marcotti told ESPN FC.

“My understanding is that talks have stalled and Spurs are looking elsewhere but we’ve seen this negotiating ploy before, hoping one side or the other blinks and we could be headed in that direction.”

Conte won the Scudetto in his second season with Inter, but wanted assurances about his transfer budget

AFP

Conte won the Scudetto in his second season with Inter, but wanted assurances about his transfer budget

Mauricio Pochettino

When a deal for Conte broke down, it’s no surprise some thoughts went straight back to former head coach Pochettino.

The Argentine clearly has unfinished business in north London but getting him out of Paris Saint-Germain, whether he likes it in the French capital or not.

PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi, though, is adamant about where his employee’s future lies.

The Qatari businessman told L’Equipe: “Look, at the end of the season I had two encounters with [Mauricio] Pochettino, two or three hours each time. He never told me he wanted to leave.

“He never had an attitude that suggested he wanted to leave. It’s the opposite. He was totally involved in the issues: the club, the structure, the organization, what he needs for the next season.

“He talks to Leonardo almost every day about the transfer window, the players, etc. This situation really bothers me, it is not suitable.

“He is here since January, he still has two years of contract, he is our coach. Both for him and for [Kylian] Mbappé, people are trying to annoy us. But we are together. No one will divide us by doing this.”

It’s also believed he played a big role in the signing of Georginio Wijnaldum – a player he tried to sign for Tottenham.

Pochettino hasn’t had it his own way in Paris and may fancy a Tottenham return still

AFP

Pochettino hasn’t had it his own way in Paris and may fancy a Tottenham return still

Erik ten Hag

Another manager back on the menu, is the current Ajax gaffer.

Ten Hag has been a huge hit in Amsterdam, leading the club to the Champions League semi-finals in 2019, where they lost to Spurs, and two title wins.

Initial interest from Spurs saw the Dutch giants trigger a contract extension for Ten Hag and his deal now lasts until the summer of 2023.

But The Sunday Mirror claims the north Londoners are now turning their attentions back to the 51-year-old.

Ten Hag is back on Spurs’ radar

AFP

Ten Hag is back on Spurs’ radar

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