Tottenham’s two ‘favourites’ for manager job amid Mauricio Pochettino, Antonio Conte links

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Tottenham’s search for their next long-term manager continues and there are reportedly two favourites in the running. Former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino and Inter Milan head coach Antonio Conte have been linked of late, but Spurs are apparently more focused on other names.

Julian Nagelsmann was among Spurs’ most attractive candidates before it was confirmed the German would be swapping RB Leipzig for Bayern Munich at the end of the season.

The north Londoners have been linked to a whole host of options having yet to instal a permanent successor to Jose Mourinho was sacked in April.

Ryan Mason took temporary charge of the final seven games of the season, winning four but losing three, including the Carabao Cup final to Manchester City.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy took a gamble that 29-year-old Mason might lead Spurs to a strong finish to the season but they finished only seventh in the Premier League and five points adrift of the Champions League places.

Now, as they plan for the future – which will see them play in the new Europa Conference League next term – Spurs are keen to select their new manager so they can get their summer transfer window plans in place.

Pochettino, who was sacked before Mourinho’s November 2019 appointment, has been among those fancifully linked to the vacant role.

The Argentine is in charge of Paris Saint-Germain but the French giants surrendered their Ligue 1 title to Lille and lost to Man City in the Champions League semi-finals.

And it has been claimed Pochettino could be approached for a grand return to Spurs less than two years after his departure.

While former Chelsea boss Conte, who led Inter to their first Serie A title in a decade this season, may be on the market in the coming weeks.

The Italian is in talks with Inter about his future amid huge financial problems at the club which could force them to sell several assets in the summer.

Fabrizio Romano even reported on Wednesday evening: “Antonio Conte and Inter have reached an agreement to part ways immediatly, done. He’s leaving Inter – game over after two seasons, one Scudetto and the Europa League final. #Inter #Conte.”

The 54-year-old won the Premier League and FA Cup in two seasons with Chelsea having also previously taken Juventus to three league titles, and would be an elite-level option to finally replace Mourinho.

But The Athletic say it is Ajax’s Erik ten Hag and Ralf Rangnick the former Hoffenheim, Schalke and RB Leipzig manager, who are the current favourites.

Tottenham are said to still be making their minds up which means it cannot completely be ruled out that they opt to go for Pochettino or Conte.

Brighton’s Graham Potter is another candidate, as is Belgium boss Roberto Martinez, but Nuno Espirito Santo – who is leaving Wolves – is not thought to be among those under consideration.

Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers is admired by the Londoners but has repeatedly stressed his commitment to the Foxes, who won the FA Cup earlier this month.

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Spurs are eager to bring in a progressive manager who will adopt an attack-minded style of play and help to bring through some of their younger talents.

It’s thought any new boss will also have to work alongside a transfer recruitment team rather than have sole power of incomings and outgoings.

Ten Hag, 51, recently signed a new contract through to 2023 but remains in the running having won two Eredivisie titles and two KNVB Cups with Ajax, whom he has been in charge of since December 2017.

The highly-rated Dutchman would command a fee to be taken away from the Amsterdam club, while Rangnick may be an easier appointment but is the current head of sport and development at Red Bull and has not managed for two years.

Fulham’s Scott Parker and Massimiliano Allegri, who could replace Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid, and ex-Liverpool, Chelsea and Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez are among other possible options.

Levy said in a statement last week: “We shall focus on the recruitment of a new Head Coach.

“We are acutely aware of the need to select someone whose values reflect those of our great Club and return to playing football with the style for which we are known – free-flowing, attacking and entertaining – whilst continuing to embrace our desire to see young players flourish from our Academy alongside experienced talent.”

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