Tottenham are not expected to delay their bid to appoint a new manager after confirming the departure of Antonio Conte late on Sunday evening.
The Italian coach saw the curtain brought down on his reign after 16 months in charge. Conte’s final act as Tottenham manager was an awkward and uncomfortable condemnation of the club, its owners and their players. As a level of the fall-out, Spurs released a short, 40-word statement to confirm his exit late on Sunday night.
In doing so, they also confirmed that Conte would be replaced at the helm immediately by his former No 2 Cristian Stellini. He will be assisted by Ryan Mason, who has previously taken charge in a caretaker capacity.
The two are now in charge of preparing the club for next Monday’s game against Everton at Goodison Park.
And while confirmed as being in charge until the end of the season, Spurs’ hunt for a successor is already well underway.
Indeed, The Times reports that chairman Daniel Levy is preparing to “move fast” for the candidate now emerging as No 1 choice.
Levy and his fellow board of directors have spent the week debating both Conte’s departure and possible replacements.
Reportedly taking consulation from sporting director Fabio Paratici and some senior players, the club has been mulling its options.
To that end, the likes of former coach Mauricio Pochettino and recently-sacked ex-Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann are the two men in the frame.
Pochettino was thought to be the leading candidate with a number of Tottenham players thought to be keen on his return.
However, the midweek dismissal of Nagelsmann appears to have altered Tottenham’s stance.
Tottenham ready to contact Julian Nagelsmann
The axe surprinsingly fell on his reign last week just short of two years in charge. The 35-year-old had Bayern through to the Champions League quarter-finals and were also on track, albeit sat second, to retain their Bundesliga title.
However, pointing to a recent drop in results, they chose to axe him and appoint Thomas Tuchel.
And now the former Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig boss is reportedly Tottenham’s No 1 candidate to succeed Conte.
They were initially reportedly willing to wait for the summer to get their man.
However, The Times now reports that interest from Real Madrid in Nagelsmann will prompt Spurs to accelerate their chase.
Indeed, with doubts emerging over the future of Los Blancos coach Carlo Ancelotti, they are reportedly also due to make a move.
To that end, they already established contact with the German back in 2018 when axing Julen Lopetegui.
He said in 2021: “I received a call, two years ago, from Real Madrid. They wanted to know me and my philosophy better. If they call me again in the future, the decision might be different.
“Back then, I didn’t have time to prepare, learn Spanish and lacked the experience.”
Now a free agent, that time could be now.
As a result, Levy and Co look ready to make their move with a matter of urgency.
Levy issues Tottenham rallying cry
For now, however, Levy’s immediate worry is to ensure Tottenham retain their place in the top four.
They are currently sat fourth, but Newcastle and Liverpool both have two matches in hand on them. Perhaps more worryingly, the Magpies are just two points adrift and seemingly over their recent wobble.
In a direct plea to supporters and the club as a whole, Levy is urging everyone to unite as one in the wake of Conte’s exit.
“We have 10 Premier League games remaining and we have a fight on our hands for a Champions League place. We all need to pull together. Everyone has to step up to ensure the highest possible finish for our club and amazing, loyal supporters.”
That campaign begins with a tricky trip to Goodison to face relegation-threatened Everton next Monday.
However, planning for Tottenham’s long-term is already also well underway.