Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Antonio Conte might leave Tottenham Hotspur this summer for [insert any number of reasons here].
All reporting out of north London is that the current Spurs boss is going to get backed by Daniel Levy and Joe Lewis this summer. It feels like he’s on the cusp of something special but he needs players and it’s time to splash some cash. Of course, this is Daniel Levy we’re talking about, and there’s a mountain of evidence that he will still be Levy and drag out negotiations.
So what happens if Levy reverts to Levy of old and Conte bails out? We’re back to where we were this time last year and kicking the tires up at Brighton with Graham Potter. This is according to Matt Law.
Graham Potter emerging as favourite to replace Antonio Conte at Tottenham IF Conte goes at the end of this season - but it is understood Potter would cost in excess of £10m #thfc https://t.co/jyryDdV2Xn— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) May 6, 2022
Ignoring the rage-inducing feeling that I get when I see the name “Matt Law” anywhere, this story is pretty simple and paints a picture that might hurt to read, but at least tells us Levy has a backup plan just in case everything goes south.
But Potter is now believed to be the frontrunner to replace Conte if Tottenham are forced to make a change, although the prospect of chairman Daniel Levy turning to fans’ favourite Pochettino cannot be discounted.
Levy was prepared to pay the £15m in compensation it would have taken to land Potter last summer, but the 46 year-old was keen to remain at Brighton, who are ninth in the Premier League table.
The size of that compensation figure is understood to have decreased with one year less remaining on his contract, but Tottenham would still have to pay in excess of £10m to take Potter.
Potter has done pretty well at Brighton this season, including beating both Spurs and Arsenal in recent weeks during the mad dash for the final Champions League spot in England. He isn’t a big name manager like Conte, but he has a good track record in England and the Premier League. That cannot be understated or discounted, especially with what he’s had to work with at Brighton.
We know that the plan is to keep Conte happy, and there’s also the reminder that Mauricio Pochettino will be available when PSG formally sack him at the end of the Ligue 1 season unless there’s a serious shift in attitude from their board. While I wouldn’t expect Pochettino to return so quickly, I think he’s going to be in the conversation regardless of how this all plays out. Right now, it’s safe to say that everyone wants Levy to back Conte and make this academic. There’s a potential to sell a lot of players and bring in new ones that will improve the squad, so let’s not screw this up.