Tottenham agree Paulo Fonseca deal ‘in principle’ as Daniel Levy closes in on appointment

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Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is nearing the appointment of Paulo Fonseca as the club’s new manager after agreeing a deal in principle, according to reports. Spurs have been searching for the right candidate to replace Jose Mourinho since the experienced Portuguese boss was given his marching orders back in April.

Ryan Mason was placed in temporary charge until the end of the season, with the 29-year-old overseeing an eventual seventh-placed finish and a Carabao Cup final defeat at the hands of Premier League champions Manchester City.

A number of high-profile names have been linked with the Spurs job since Mourinho’s dismissal, including recently departed Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo and Graham Potter of Brighton and Hove Albion.

Antonio Conte, who walked out on Inter Milan last month after leading the San Siro giants to their first Scudetto since 2010, was recently in advanced talks with Levy over the vacancy.

However, Spurs pulled the plug on the proposed move at the eleventh hour, with the club reportedly unwilling to meet Conte’s demands and the man himself less than convinced on the project in north London.

Levy then promptly switched his focus to Fonseca with the assistance of new sporting director Fabio Paratici, who has been working with Spurs in recent days to thrash out the details.

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It seems as though the arrival of the former Roma boss could now be imminent, with Tottenham striking a two-year deal in principle to put an end to their lengthy search for a new manager, according to The Telegraph.

The report claims that Fonseca’s move is all but done pending agreement on the paperwork and the green light from Levy, who has recently been on holiday in the Bahamas with majority owner Joe Lewis.

Fonseca, who left Roma in May to be replaced by Mourinho, was never Tottenham’s main target but was reportedly included on a list of potential candidates with the ability to put Levy’s long-term plan for the club into action.

The Spurs chairman declared in his recent open letter to fans that he was looking for a manager capable of implementing a ‘free-flowing, attacking and entertaining’ brand of football.

Fonseca is expected to travel to London over the weekend to complete the formalities, according to the report, with official confirmation of his appointment potentially due over the next couple of weeks.

It is understood that he will not be supported by his regular team of backroom staff, with the 48-year-old’s long-term assistant Nuno Campos recently announcing that their working relationship has ended.

Meanwhile, former Tottenham and England goalkeeper Paul Robinson has suggested that Levy should snub Fonseca in favour of Rangers boss Steven Gerrard, who has been mentioned in connection with the Everton job in recent weeks.

“I have said from day one that I would love to see Steven Gerrard given an opportunity,” Robinson told Football Insider.

“Everyone raves about [Julian] Nagelsmann and [Thomas] Tuchel and I think a large part of that is because they are foreign coaches. It is in fashion if you like.

“I do not know why young English managers are not linked with the Spurs job. There is a director of football there now so why not give Gerrard the opportunity to work under him?

“What Stevie has done at Rangers is nothing short of incredible. He has built such a rapport with the players there.

“I would love to see a young English manager like that given the opportunity to build on a project there. They are running out of options.”

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