The managerial news doesn’t stop, nor does it stop changing. One day after it looked all but certain that Mauricio Pochettino was set to be the Once and Future Manager of Tottenham Hotspur, here comes Fabrizio “Here We Go” Romano with an Antonio Conte-shaped curve ball that throws everything back into question.
Tottenham have contacted Antonio Conte as candidate for Spurs job - not done but talks ongoing about potential project, contract and salary. ⚪️ #Spurs #THFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 2, 2021
Conte is one of the options in #THFC list - as PSG are still on the same position about Pochettino. @SkySport @aalciato
If you just injured your neck from the whiplash after reading this tweet, I understand and feel the same. To be clear (or as clear as possible in this incredibly screwed up, confusing, and fluid situation), Romano is NOT saying that Conte is the next manager of Tottenham. In fact, it sounds as though Daniel Levy is trying to keep a couple of irons in the fire here.
The last we heard regarding the Pochettino situation, he wants to leave PSG but the club is hotly denying that he does or is agitating for a departure, even going as far as to trigger a one-year extension clause in his contract. The scuttlebut right now is that PSG isn’t willing to let him go unless Poch goes public with his desires to leave, and it seems as though he’s not willing to do that because he doesn’t want to burn bridges. Which seems weird for a manager who’s supposedly agitating to leave for his old club, but whatever.
So does this mean Spurs are now in seriously for Conte over Pochettino? Does it mean that PSG just flat-out said “no, he’s ours”? Or is this the latest in a continuing pressure campaign to get Poch out of Paris and back to London where he belongs?
Friends, I have absolutely no idea. Isn’t this FUN?
Edit: This story is moving FAST. The Athletic (£) is now reporting that Conte is “the leading candidate to replace Jose Mourinho” and that they are also working to bring in Fabio Paratici as Director of Football. Conte and Paratici have worked together before at Juventus.
It does sound as though the choice is either try and pry Pochettino out of PSG with a lot of personal power despite his club’s reluctance to let him go, or bring in a Conte-Paratici relationship that has worked well at another big club.