Luis Enrique, who left his position as manager of Spain after this winter’s World Cup, has already interviewed with Chelsea, but according to a new report in the Evening Standard, he’s also set to speak with Daniel Levy about the vacant Tottenham Hotspur job.
Dan Kilpatrick writes that Enrique is the top managerial candidate for Spurs Managing Director of Football Fabio Paratici, on a shortlist that also contains Julian Nagelsmann, Arne Slot, and Burnley head coach Vincent Kompany. Notably missing on that list is Mauricio Pochettino, who based on the chanting from the home crowd in Saturday’s loss to Bournemouth is far and away the first choice of Spurs fans.
“Lucho,” as I wrote last month, is a proven tactician and an excellent manager who plays exciting football, but there are questions as to how much turnover this current Spurs squad would need in order to play his style of football, and whether that tiki-taka-lite approach would work in the Premier League.
Paratici, obviously, isn’t participating in the search at this time (at least formally), as he’s currently on a leave of absence pending an appeal against the charges levied on him in the Juventus PRISMA/plusvalenza scandals. That means Daniel Levy is as expected heading up the search until we know the result of Paratici’s appeal, the hearing for which will take place tomorrow.
Luis Enrique, Nagelsmann, Slot, and Kompany all are known for playing attractive, progressive football, but there’s a lot of small differences between them in the way they set up their teams and play. It’s certainly not a bad list, assuming there aren’t other managers on there as well, but I’m not sure that it screams “this is our new club ethos,” at least yet.
There are plenty of teams looking for managers in the offseason, but Chelsea, PSG, and Real Madrid are the ones most likely at this point to stand in the way of Spurs appointing their first choice, whomever that is. So developing a shortlist is a good idea, as Tottenham are likely to be a more attractive club for potential managers than the likes of Leeds, Southampton, and Leicester City. Chelsea’s drawing and financial power means they might be able to poach (no pun) Spurs’ top choice, but the difference is that there appears to be a good number of excellent potential managers in the pool compared to the last time Spurs were in the market.
The real question is whether the club should still be listening to Fabio Paratici in these matters at all.