Conte sack latest: Levy position changes with brutal Tottenham decision coming in ‘hours’ and shock new name entering frame
The possibility of Antonio Conte getting the sack at Tottenham is becoming an increasingly-likely possibility after a trusted source revealed the surprise timeline for his removal as manager.
The Spurs boss appeared to signal his death-knell with an astonishing rant following Saturday’s 3-3 draw at Southampton. Leading 3-1, Tottenham somehow contrived to throw away two points after James Ward-Prowse tucked away a 90th-minute penalty.
The result was a hammer blow to Spurs’ Champions League prospects. While currently fourth, their margin to Newcastle in fifth is now just two points. More alarmingly, the Magpies hold two matches in hand on Conte’s side and appear to over their recent wobbles.
Further behind them in sixth are Liverpool, while Brighton cannot be ruled out the equation given they sit seven points behind with three games in hand.
As a result, Conte went on a mad one at full-time, ripping into the mentality of the club, their players and its owners.
The Italian raged: “The club has the responsibility for the transfer market, every coach that stayed here has the responsibility. And the players? The players? Where are the players?
“Twenty years there is the owner and they never won something but why? The fault is only for the club, or for every manager that stay here?
“You are finding an alibi, another alibi. You try to find an excuse for the players. OK, continue to do this, to find an excuse for the players. You do only this! You do only this.
“Excuses for the players. ‘But the players, maybe, my future, then we lost confidence, they lost spirit, they lost being a team’. Excuses, excuses, excuses. Try to protect them every time.”
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Levy ready to sack Conte as exit timeline emerges
That prompted chairman Daniel Levy to demand a summit meeting with Conte, whereby the Italian was told to explain his comments. However, it’s reported that he insists his comments were misunderstood and that his anger was purely at the players, rather than the board.
As a result, it’s claimed Conte was safe in his position for now, at least.
However, his deal at Spurs is due to expire at the end of the season. And while there is a one-year option on that arrangement, neither party appear enthused to extend it. As such, the Daily Telegraph claims Conte’s removal as manager now looks a genuine possibility.
They claim Levy will use the forthcoming international break to analyse whether or not to sack Conte. And, in taking on board his comments, a decision to remove him as manager could be made in a matter of days or possibly even hours.
The Telegraph says Levy will consult with some of his closest confidants on the situation before finalising a decision. But the paper claims there remains a very real and genuine possibility that the Italian will be dismissed soon.
Were that to happen, the paper claims Ryan Mason will likely take the reins on a temporary basis until the season is through. However, Levy will discuss whether Tottenham’s top-four hopes are best served with or without Conte at the helm.
Another thing to consider is the players’ happiness. And reports claims morale at the club and among the players has rarely been lower during the past couple of years. That in itself could be reason to act and it is possible some of them could be consulted too.
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Celtic boss a contender for Tottenham job
With it highly unlikely Conte will be at the helm for much longer – and certainly not by next season – the club are reportedly considering a number of alternative options.
Indeed, the likes of former boss Mauricio Pochettino and ex-Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel are among the favourites. However, reports lately are also suggesting that Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi is also emerging as a potential contender.
Now Gary Jacob of The Times claims another name in contention is Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou. The 57-year-old Australian has done an excellent job with Celtic and looks on course to win a second successive title.
Frequently linked with Premier League jobs, Jacob, speaking to beIN Sport, claims Postecoglu is a genuine candidate for Tottenham should Conte be axed.
“Spurs are already looking at managers, they’re looking at very young, up and coming managers,” Jacob said.
“Perhaps the exception being Ange at Celtic, who’s slightly older. All the managers they’re looking at are coaches and it seems to kind of accept that this time it’s going to be a coach, rather than what they’ve tried before with Jose [Mourinho] and Conte as winners. That’s not worked.
“I think they’re going to go back to a slight reset of going back to the model they had in the past with people like Martin Jol and Pochettino and slowly build with a coach.”
Presenter Carrie Brown, speaking to Jacob, rounded off the interview stating: “Ange Postecoglou a big possibility for next season.”
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