Next Tottenham boss exclusive: Levy, Paratici at odds over Conte replacement as latter pushes for bolder, style-changing option

Antonio Conte chats to Fabio Paratici of Tottenham

Daniel Levy and sporting director Fabio Paratici have differing ideas over who should replace Antonio Conte as Tottenham’s next permanent manager, TEAMtalk understands.

At the time of writing, Conte is still in charge but it’s expected that he will be relieved of his duties after publically criticising his players, and to a lesser extent the club, after last weekend’s draw at bottom club Southampton.

Former boss Mauricio Pochettino remains the favourite to return the club which sacked him back in 2019. However, there are a multitude of other names in the mix, including the likes of Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi, Thomas Tuchel and also former Spain coach Luis Enrique.

While the normal mantra is ‘never go back’, Pochettino still feels he has unfinished business in north London. It also helps that he still lives in the area and is currently unemployed.

However, as the wait goes on over Conte’s future, there is a growing feeling that a new man will not come in until the summer and that Ryan Mason will be handed the interim reins once again.

And speaking about Pochettino coming back, Ben Jacobs said: “Mauricio Pochettino coming back to the football club is a realistic possibility.

“It’s absolutely no secret that Pochettino would come back to Spurs and it’s also no secret that Daniel Levy is a big fan of Poch. They have a strong professional and personal relationship.

“And, as a consequence, if it was only up to Daniel Levy then Pochettino would could be deemed to be a frontrunner.

“But there’s other people and factors at play here. And one thing with Pochettino is, even if Levy likes him, does he fit into the project now, and is he the right manager for the group of players that he would inherit?

“And perhaps most importantly, what is the dynamic between Paratici and Pochettino?

“Even though there’s, of course, this big question mark over Paratici as things stand, and we wait and see whether he ends up getting banned globally from football, because of the whole fallout from the scandal with Juventus and their capital, tax gains violations. And if that happens, then Paratici would be out of the picture.

“So that’s a whole subplot as well to consider but right now, Tottenham are calm about that he is a Spurs employee and he can operate and function as normal. And he has a lot of control.”

Paratici has his own frontrunner

While Levy clearly favours bringing Pochettino back, Jacobs has revealed the name Paratici sees as a better fit in north London.

He added: “I think that Daniel Levy is relying on Paratici to draw up a shortlist if, as expected, Antonio Conte goes, and because of the Paratici factor, it complicates the Pochettino situation.

“And whereas with Antonio Conte, he got a lot of control and autonomy on the recruitment side, and Tottenham were very busy – last summer in particular.

“But if Pochettino comes in, will he have to bow to Paratici and what he inherits, or will he be able to revamp as he sees fit, including in all likelihood, changing the identity of how Spurs are currently playing.

“So that’s a consideration. He’s liked, and would be popular with the fan base. But from a purely football perspective, and recruitment perspective and dynamics perspective, is he the right man to coexist alongside Paratici.

“And that will be a discussion for the senior leadership team at Spurs. But Levy’s perspective, is that he very much likes Pochettino as both a coach and a personality.

“But then Luis Enrique is one to watch who’s keen to get back into football and would also, I think, be extremely popular with the Tottenham fan base. A world-class coach.

“And that’s the name that Paratici perhaps thinks is the strongest fit. So whereas levy likes Pochettiono, personally and professionally, Paratici likes and Enrique personally and professionally. And these type of managers don’t tend to love to come in mid-season. So that’s why Tottenham might have to be patient.”

Tottenham do have some breathing space between now and their next game to make a decision over naming a permanent manager or Mason as interim.

They head to Everton after the international break on Monday April 3.

READ MORE: Another key Tottenham man reacts to Antonio Conte tirade but still insists ‘I want to stay at Spurs’