There appears to be an inevitability about Antonio Conte no longer being the Tottenham Hotspur manager when the first game of the 2023/24 season rolls around.
The manner in which Spurs were dumped out of the Champions League against AC Milan left a whole lot to be desired. Despite being 1-0 down from the first leg, Spurs were limp and never took the game to their opponents in attack as the Rossoneri progressed to the next round with a goalless draw.
Conte was asked about his future after the game, to which he responded: “At the end of the season we will meet and then make a decision. I have a contract that is running down and we’ll see how the season ends.”
The Italian is out of contract with the club at the end of this season and it seems highly unlikely he will be getting a new deal, especially given he may not even want one himself. So, who could take over from the former Inter coach, be that at the end of the season or even earlier?
Here are some of the most credible names being linked with the Tottenham job.
Teams managed: Augsburg II, Mainz, Borussia Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea
One of the two names Spurs fans appear to be clamouring for the most is Thomas Tuchel. The German coach has been on the market ever since he was sacked by Chelsea in favour of Graham Potter.
Chelsea’s form under Potter has led to Tuchel’s stock rising while he has been out of work and he is generally viewed as the best coach that is currently out of work. He would bring some short term success to Spurs and a domestic cup success would be possible, but may not be a long-term fix.
Spurs fans also need to be won over by a coach who recently won the Champions League with Chelsea. He has also reached the final of that competition with PSG and there is evidence to suggest he could take Spurs a step further than they have been in recent memory.
Teams managed: Espanyol, Southampton, Tottenham, Paris Saint-Germain
The man who has been perpetually on the verge of greatness. He is loved by most Spurs fans as he took them to the Champions League final were they were beaten by the better side in Liverpool.
His time at Paris Saint-Germain did not go to plan and he has been available since the end of last season. He has a strong relationship with key members of the squad such as Harry Kane, but it is not immediately clear what would be different to when he was last at the club.
The squad is not necessarily better and the hierarchy appears to be just as dsyfunctional as it was during Pochettino’s first spell there. This appointment could be one rooted in nostalgia rather than ambition.
Teams managed: Darfo Boario, Foggia, Palermo, Benevento, Sassuolo, Shakhtar Donetsk, Brighton (current)
This would be cruel on Brighton. They lost Potter to Chelsea unexpectedly this season and Roberto De Zerbi managed to come in and make the team even better with his coaching.
That is why so many Spurs fans think he would be the smart choice. He has proved himself in the Premier League, albeit in a small timeframe, and there are players in that squad that would fit in well at Tottenham. The likes of Moises Caicedo and Solly March have been linked, but there is also young Irish striker Evan Ferguson and Japanese winger Kaoru Mitoma.
Teams managed: Denmark Under-16s, Denmark Under-17s, Denmark Under-19s, Brondby IF, Brentford (current)
This appointment would have a very similar school of thought to De Zerbi’s. The Danish coach has done a wonderful job at Brentford in his five years in charge and this could be the moment he decides to take the next step. It certainly wouldn’t be until the end of the season given he is fighting for a European spot with the Bees.
He has proven himself as a project manager and may well need some patience to begin with as he finds his feet, but there is reason to believe he could be up to the job.
There are a handful of other names being linked with the role, such as Celtic’s Ange Postecoglou who has done a good job at Celtic since he took over and seems like the sort of character who could handle the task.
Other names such as PSG’s Christophe Galtier, Juventus’ Massimiliano Allegri, Chelsea’s Graham Potter and Burnley’s Vincent Kompany are all names being banded around but they will need to be brought out their contracts providing they are still in their jobs when the time comes.