Pochettino and Tuchel lead five candidates who could replace Conte at Tottenham

Italian is set to leave the Premier League club, if not this week then almost certainly at the end of the season

Antonio Conte is expected to leave Tottenham, either this week or at the end of the season when his contract expires. PA
Powered by automated translation

Whether this week, next week, or at the end of the season, Antonio Conte's exit from Tottenham appears increasingly inevitable.

Reports this week claim the Italian manager could be sacked during the international break following a remarkable outburst last Saturday in which he hammered his "selfish" players after a 3-3 draw at Southampton, whom Spurs led 3-1 with 13 minutes remaining.

Conte has for months been expected to leave Spurs when his contract expires at the end of the season, but recent events could hasten his departure.

It wasn't meant to be like this. While Conte is known to be a combustible character not afraid to criticise his own club and board - after all, similar patterns contributed to his exits from Juventus, Chelsea, and Inter Milan - his arrival in North London brought hope that the club could form solid foundations upon which they could start challenging for trophies.

Taking over in November 2021 with Spurs in eighth place, Conte led the club to a top-four finish and into the Champions League. Since then, though, the cracks started to appear, with the Italian rounding on the club over their transfer policy and inconsistent results marring progress on the pitch. Then came the astonishing tirade at St Mary's Stadium.

Speculation has now begun over who will replace Conte at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Here are five managers who could be in the running to step into the Spurs dugout.

Mauricio Pochettino

The romantic choice and the one that would have the backing of the majority of Tottenham fans. Pochettino's four and a half years as Spurs manager, between May 2014 and November 2019, was one of the more successful spells in the club's recent history, highlighted by reaching the Champions League final in 2019.

The club's failure to build on that European run - Tottenham didn't sign any players the following summer - saw results rapidly decline and Pochettino was sacked in the November with Spurs 14th in the Premier League table.

Since leaving Spurs, Pochettino spent 18 months at Paris Saint-Germain, leading the French giants to the Ligue 1 title - his first major trophy as a manager - but an inability to capture the Champions League title saw the Argentine leave last summer.

Pochettino's strong relationship with the players should be a big advantage in his favour, particularly in light of Conte's recent criticism of the squad, while the Argentine's style of play will be welcomed compared to the Italian's more rigid approach.

Oliver Glasner

Reports this week claimed Tottenham have already made contact with Glasner, and given the Austrian's managerial achievements so far, it should come as little surprise.

Everywhere Glasner has been has led to success, taking over Austrian side LASK in the second division in 2015 and leading them to promotion. LASK then finished fourth in the Austrian Bundesliga in their first season, and second the following year - their highest placing since 1962.

From there, Glasner joined Wolfsburg and led the club to seventh in the Bundesliga in his debut season and fourth in his second year to qualify for the Champions League.

Glasner, 48, has been in charge at Eintracht Frankfurt since the start of the 2021/22 season, and while they endured a difficult league campaign to finish 11th, he did guide the club to the Europa League title - their first European trophy since 1980. Eintracht then advanced from their Champions League group this season but were eliminated in the Round of 16 by Napoli.

Considering all of Glasner's managerial experience has come in Austria and Germany, there would be an element of risk for Tottenham but his impressive CV makes him an obvious candidate.

Thomas Tuchel

Regarded as one of football's elite-level managers, Tuchel has been out of work since his shock sacking by Chelsea last September, 16 months after leading the club to the Champions League title.

Tuchel has achieved success throughout his managerial career, winning the German Cup with Borussia Dortmund, and claiming four trophies in two-and-a-half years at PSG. The German came closer than any coach to ending PSG's desperate attempts for European glory having guided the club to the Champions League final in 2020.

A master tactician who led Chelsea to successive FA Cup finals, Tuchel received a lot of credit for his leadership during a time of crisis when the Blues were placed under government sanctions due to former owner Roman Abramovich's alleged links to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Results started to tail off during his final months at Stamford Bridge but much of that could be attributed to the unprecedented upheaval at the club.

Tuchel would be dream appointment for Tottenham but whether the 49-year-old would be interested in the position could be the main obstacle. Reports have suggested he could be in line for a return to PSG.

Luis Enrique

Unemployed since leaving the Spain national team following their last-16 exit to Morocco at the 2022 World Cup, Luis Enrique is expected to be one of the most sought-after managers in Europe come the end of the season.

Following short spells with Barcelona's B team and Roma in Italy, Luis Enrique returned to the Camp Nou in 2014 and presided over Barca's most recent era of dominance, winning seven major trophies in three seasons, including their last Champions League title in 2015.

Two consecutive spells as Spain manager have followed, with Enrique's best achievement leading the team to the Euros 2020 semi-finals.

Should Tottenham be interested in an approach for Enrique, the biggest challenge could competition for the Spaniard's signature. PSG, Chelsea, and Liverpool have all been linked with Enrique should those clubs decide to make a change.

Vincent Kompany

A riskier appointment but the former Manchester City captain is making an impressive start to life in management. Kompany got his break at boyhood club Anderlecht in Belgium and moved to Championship side Burnley last summer.

The Belgian has built one of the most dominant teams in Championship history as Burnley, 13 points clear at the time of writing, sprint towards promotion to the Premier League.

As a disciple of Pep Guardiola at City, Kompany has received one of the best educations a budding manager could get. Tottenham's fierce rivals Arsenal took a similar punt when they appointed Mikel Arteta. Perhaps Spurs could follow their lead.

Updated: March 24, 2023, 8:36 AM