Tottenham weren’t expecting this. For several weeks, London leaders have been looking for the man who will embody their new project and will be able to revive the English machine after the passage of José Mourinho and the interim of Ryan Mason. But the rare pearl is proving difficult to find. However, the Spurs were not short of ideas. Erik Ten Hag (51), who has extended to Ajax, or Brendan Rodgers, who wanted to stay at Leicester, were polled. Mauricio Pochettino was then approached.
The impossible return of Pochettino
President Daniel Levy has seriously studied this lead. Former of the house, since he was on the bench for Tottenham between May 27, 2014 and November 19, 2019, he had the advantage of knowing the club perfectly. He was also able to pull the English team up. And the idea did not really displease the 49-year-old Argentinian technician, ready to return. Dissatisfied at PSG, where his relations with Leonardo would be fresh, Pochettino was visibly sensitive to this call from the foot of Spurs.
He would even have liked to be released from his last year of contract. Only problem, Paris Saint-Germain, club to which it is linked until 2022, has clearly closed the door to a departure. “Pochettino has two years of contract with PSG and we are very happy”, repeatedly hammered Leonardo. Seeing him leave just six months after his arrival was unthinkable on the Parisian side. After believing in it for a while, Tottenham had to resign themselves.
An incompatibility with Conte
At the same time, Londoners also explored the trail leading to Antonio Conte (51). Experienced and talented, the Italian has a prestigious Curriculum Vitae. To this, we must add that he has already coached in the Premier League, since he was at the head of Chelsea between 2016 and 2018. A large displacement with which he notably won the English championship in 2017. On the market afterwards his departure from Inter Milan and his victory in Serie A, Conte was quickly approached by Tottenham.
After some exchanges, the two parties did not come to an agreement. The British wanted to highlight the young people of the club. Which did not correspond to the transalpine coach, who was not convinced by the project and Tottenham’s ability to play the leading roles. In addition, Antonio Conte had too high financial demands for the club from the English capital. Negotiations thus came to a halt at the beginning of June.
A financial disagreement with Fonseca
After these two failures, Tottenham, who was rebuffed by Julen Lopetegui in the meantime, launched in pursuit of Paulo Fonseca (48). Free since the end of his adventure at AS Roma, where he was also replaced by Mourinho, the Portuguese was the priority of the new director of football Fabio Paratici. For his part, the Lusitanian coach was very interested in the idea of discovering a new championship. The Italian press was confident and spoke of the imminent signing of a 3-year lease.
But here again, the deal collapsed in 48 hours, a priori for tax reasons. Indeed, the Guardian explained that Italian law offered him tax breaks that did not apply in the UK. Fonseca wanted his salary adjusted accordingly. Which was not possible.
Gattuso the ephemeral track
As soon as the Fonseca slope fell in the water, the name of Gennaro Gattuso (43) was put forward. On the market for only a few hours following the end of his twenty-two-day collaboration with Fiorentina, the former Napoli coach has been contacted. His agent Jorge Mendes traded with the English. Italian media reported positive discussions and a two-year lease. But according to The Athletic, Londoners have backed down.
For them, it was just a simple inquiry. Skysports argues that the reaction of Tottenham fans, resistant to the idea of seeing Gattuso on the bench and who launched #NoToGattuso on social media, would have prompted Spurs to halt negotiations. A new galley therefore for the club of Daniel Levy, who has still not found his new coach within two months of the resumption of the Premier League (August 14). Hurry up !