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Tottenham have sensationally called off the imminent appointment of Gennaro Gattuso as head coach, according to reports. It is the latest twist in a protracted search to find Jose Mourinho’s replacement.
Mourinho was sacked in April and former Tottenham favourite Ryan Mason was placed in interim control of the first team until a successor was appointed.
Two weeks ago, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy seemed close to announcing Antonio Conte as boss.
However, talks broke down with both parties appearing to have concerns about the other’s future plans.
Then, as recently as Wednesday, Levy finally seemed close to appointing the former Roma coach Paulo Fonseca.
Tottenham managerial shortlist: Five options after Gennaro Gattuso move called off
But the move took another bizarre turn on Thursday when Gattuso, who had stormed out of Fiorentina 22 days after being appointed, suddenly appeared to be Spurs’ first choice.
It has been reported that Tottenham’s new director of football, Fabio Paratici, preferred Gattuso and called off talks with Fonseca.
Now, according to The Athletic, Levy and Paratici have ditched plans to appoint Gattuso and will now turn to other candidates.
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Former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino remains a candidate
After such strong fan dissatisfaction due to a prolonged manager search and then because of the Gattuso fiasco, the best possible move would be for Levy to pay whatever it takes to appoint former boss Pochettino.
There were reports earlier this month that Pochettino was ready to leave Paris Saint-Germain to rejoin the north Londoners having failed to settle in Paris.
The Argentine was appointed by the Ligue 1 side in January but failed to win the division, instead being pipped by Lille.
Pochettino guided Spurs to a first-ever Champions League final in 2019 and is adored by supporters for his largely successful five years in charge between 2014 to November 2019, when he was replaced by Mourinho.
Tottenham could turn to Brighton boss Graham Potter
The Brighton boss has been linked with the Spurs job for the duration of their managerial search without ever seeming close to a move.
Potter built his reputation in Sweden, guiding Ostersund from the base of the Swedish pyramid to the top.
He then managed Swansea City for a season before replacing Chris Hughton as Brighton boss in 2019.
The Seagulls have finished 15th and 17th under the 46-year-old but have played attractive, attacking football along the way.
Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez is a possible Mourinho replacement
It is difficult to see the Tottenham fanbase being enamoured by Martinez given the way his spell in charge of Everton fell apart after a good start, but the Belgium boss has remained a contender throughout Levy’s quest for a Mourinho replacement.
The former Swansea and Wigan Athletic coach recently hinted that he might not see out his contract with the Red Devils, so he might be tempted by a big Premier League job.
Martinez fits the profile of the attacking coach who develops young players, which Levy described in an open letter to supporters last month.
Belgium have started their Euro 2020 campaign with two wins in Group B. However, they were poor in Thursday’s win over Denmark until Martinez introduced Kevin de Bruyne at half-time.
Erik Ten Hag was one of the first names who Spurs spoke to
Erik Ten Hag
The Ajax coach was one of the first names to reportedly enter talks with Tottenham.
The Dutch side were so desperate to keep the 51-year-old that they immediately awarded him a new two-year deal.
Like Martinez, Ten Hag fits Levy’s description of his ideal replacement for Mourinho but might now be difficult to prise away from Ajax.
Ten Hag was in charge of Ajax when Spurs sensationally came back from 2-0 down on aggregate to defeat them in the 2019 Champions League semi-final.
Tottenham ditched plans to appoint Paulo Fonseca
Can Spurs swallow their pride and go back to Fonseca?
Would Fonseca re-enter talks after being brutally discarded while negotiations were so advanced?
Fonseca and his entourage were apparently baffled by Tottenham’s late snub, The Athletic claimed on Thursday.
The Portuguese has a decent CV, having previously managed Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk and Roma, and is one of the stronger candidates.
To appoint Fonseca after being close to signing him before completely ditching the plan would be the latest turn in an already chaotic start for Paratici as director of football.