Tottenham are in advanced talks to appoint Antonio Conte as their new manager after sacking Nuno Espirito Santo on Monday morning, sources told ESPN.
Nuno was sacked after just 17 games from his post following talks involving club president Daniel Levy, managing director of football Fabio Paratici and other members of the club’s board of directors on Sunday.
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Sources tell ESPN that Tottenham have offered Conte an initial 18-month contract with another general option.
The Italian is expected to be in London in the coming hours to continue talks and is open to a return to the Premier League, having previously led Chelsea to the 2017 title before leaving a year later.
The sources added that Conte withdrew from negotiations with Tottenham in the summer in part because the club refused to give Italy wide control over first-team affairs, including recruitment.
Tottenham privately denied Conte’s formal offer of the job, but Conte later publicly dismissed claims that salary concerns had prevented an agreement, adding: “I am looking at projects instead and am willing to stay at home if something doesn’t convince me. He did it for us to do with vision, honesty and principles.”
However, sources told ESPN that Conte’s willingness to revive discussions was the final factor that prompted Spurs to decide to part with Nuno.
Levy replaced Mauricio Pochettino with Jose Mourinho within 24 hours in November 2019. Although Mourinho’s appointment was a fiasco, he is careful to avoid a repeat of the farcical pursuit of his successor.
Spurs eventually gave Nuno the job in July, but only after a muddled search initially saw them sack Nuno and approach a host of others including Conte, Pochettino, Eric ten Hag, Brendan Rodgers, Paolo Fonseca and Gennaro Gattuso.
Sources have told ESPN that a number of top players have lost faith in Nuno after a poor start to the season in which he became the first Tottenham manager since Christian Gross in 1997 to lose five of his first 10 Premier League games.
But it was the intensity of the fans’ reaction to Saturday’s 3-0 home defeat to Manchester United that shocked key figures in the club the most, leading them to consider Nuno’s future the next day.
Fans chanted “You don’t know what you’re doing” at Nono as he was substituted Lucas Moura NS Stephen Bergwijn Early in the second half the team was booed at half-time and full-time. Chants of “We want Levi out” were also heard towards the end.
Tottenham are eighth in the Premier League and face the Europa League match with Vitesse on Thursday.
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