Five contenders to replace Antonio Conte at Tottenham

Antonio Conte has left Tottenham after only 16 months in charge.

Cristian Stellini has been placed in charge for the remainder of the season, but who is in the running for the permanent post this summer?

A decision was made after the 53-year-old’s extraordinary post-match rant following Spurs’ 3-3 draw at Southampton last Saturday.

Conte, who had seen his side exit the FA Cup and Champions League in quick succession, watched Tottenham concede twice in the final 13 minutes on the south coast to lose ground in the top-four race.

After a fifth away match without a victory, Conte launched a furious tirade against his own “selfish players” and shut down uncertainty over his future as “excuses” for a squad who have failed to end the club’s trophy drought that dates back to 2008.

The Italian’s contract was set to expire in the summer and he had remained coy over the prospect of extending his stay in London all season, but fourth-placed Spurs have now cut their losses with the former Chelsea boss.

So, who could be in line to replace the fiery Italian?

Mauricio Pochettino

The former Spurs boss remains out of work after he left his position at Paris St Germain at the end of last season. He insisted not long after his departure from Tottenham in 2019 that he had unfinished business after failing to win a trophy during his memorable five-and-a-half-year spell.

A remarkable run to the Champions League final proved the pinnacle but he was sacked months later after a poor start to the 2019-20 season. The uncertainty over the Real Madrid managerial role and any reluctance from the Spurs board to admit his sacking was a mistake could prove a stumbling block.

Julian Nagelsmann

A remarkable turn of events on Thursday has seen Nagelsmann now in the frame for the job after his shock dismissal by Bayern. Thomas Tuchel, another name linked, has replaced Nagelsmann in Munich and it has opened the door again for a previous favourite in N17.

The former RB Leipzig coach was a candidate to replace Jose Mourinho in 2021 before he decided to take the role at the Bundesliga champions. It was during Nagelsmann’s spells with Leipzig and Hoffenheim where he caught the eye of Daniel Levy with his tactical acumen. When one door closes, another one opens springs to mind.

Luis Enrique

A left-field option but a coach that is a favourite of Tottenham’s sporting director Fabio Paratici. A big name who has managed both Barcelona and Spain, Enrique’s philosophy of possession-based football would fit with a fanbase who have grown tired of Conte’s pragmatic style.

A willingness to give youth a chance would also tick a box for Enrique but his lack of experience in England may count against the 52-year-old.

Roberto De Zerbi

De Zerbi has only been in English football since September but has earned plenty of admirers for his work at Brighton. The Seagulls are in the FA Cup semi-finals and battling for a Champions League spot while producing an attractive style of football that has seen the goals flow at the Amex Stadium.

De Zerbi is another highly thought of by Paratici but poaching him mid-season may prove tricky. Could he be an option in the summer?

Ryan Mason

While first-team coach Mason will only support new acting head coach Cristian Stellini for the final 10 games, he can again catch the eye of Spurs’ hierarchy. Mason filled the void before when he stepped up to take the last seven games of the 2020-21 season following Jose Mourinho’s sacking.

Since his retirement from football five years ago, the one-time England international has developed a strong reputation as a coach and is popular with the players. Both Conte and Stellini have backed him to become a manager and if Spurs want to promote from within, they could turn to the 31-year-old.