A pundit has leaked which manager is likely to replace Antonio Conte in the Tottenham hot seat, with club chairman Daniel Levy also being given advice on how to make the next boss more successful.
Conte is set to become a free agent at the end of the season. There have been rumours about a Tottenham contract extension. But initial talks between the club and the Italian are yet to get anywhere near to an agreement.
Conte is already being linked with other jobs, with Italian newspaper La Repubblica predicting he could replace Stefano Pioli at AC Milan. That would be a controversial move given his previous success at Milan’s rivals Inter.
Spurs still seem to be hopeful about keeping Conte on board for a couple more seasons. But their recent form will not help to convince him that the team is heading in the right direction.
They were convincingly beaten 4-1 by Leicester in the Premier League at the weekend. And they also lost 1-0 to Milan in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie on Tuesday night.
Some of the blame lies with Conte. But there is also reason to suggest Levy is partly at fault. This is because Conte is unable to compete with rivals such as Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City in the transfer market. As a result of this, they are at risk of missing out on Champions League qualification for next season.
During an appearance on talkSPORT, former Spurs player Alan Brazil leaked some insider information on who will come in to replace Conte.
“I’ve been disappointed with Spurs,” Brazil admitted.
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“But you look at the table, you look at what they’re left in, and I think that they can overcome Milan in London, I do.
“I think they can go through at the next round.
“I understand what Jamie [O’Hara] was saying [about Conte’s negative tactics], I do. And I’ll say it again, I’m told that he’s [Conte] probably going to leave and Poch [Mauricio Pochettino] will come in.
“But whoever comes in has got to have money to improve – especially in the midfield area now that they’ve lost [Rodrigo] Bentancur who is a decent player on the ball.”
Brazil was then asked if Levy’s lack of ambition in the transfer market is to blame for Conte going. He responded: “I think something has got to give.
“I think the chairman has to find some more money for whoever goes in. If it’s Poch, he can trust Poch, but I believe he’s got to find it.
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“Tottenham are not that far away. I’m not saying they’re an Arsenal or a City, but they’re not that far away.
“They’ve been up there, but you have to invest.”
Brazil claiming that Pochettino will return to Spurs fits in with what CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs is reporting. He states that Levy ‘would be extremely open to bringing Pochettino back’ to north London, should Conte depart.
However, Spurs will have to fend off a few teams to re-appoint the Argentine. Jacobs believes West Ham will move for Pochettino if they sack David Moyes. Pochettino is also keeping an eye on the situations at Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, should either of those jobs become available.
Spurs fans would likely welcome back Pochettino with open arms. He did a great job during his first spell with the club, making them genuine Prem title challengers and guiding them to a Champions League final. The only thing his first Spurs spell lacked was a pierce of silverware.
Perhaps the ex-Paris Saint-Germain boss can right that wrong this time around. But that will only happen if Levy backs him in multiple transfer windows.