Tottenham are in advanced negotiations with Paulo Fonseca after the former Roma manager was identified as the club’s preferred option to succeed José Mourinho.
The 48-year-old Portuguese, who left Roma in May and was replaced by Mourinho, is understood to have held talks with the Spurs hierarchy about a three-year contract having been recommended by the club’s new director of football, Fabio Paratici. Fonseca is believed to be open to moving to north London having previously managed Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine for three years before moving to the Stadio Olimpico in 2019.
Tottenham have been frustrated in their efforts to replace Mourinho so far, having ended talks with the former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte after growing concerned over his demands and whether he would commit to blooding young players. They had also hoped to persuade Mauricio Pochettino to return but he decided to remain at Paris Saint-Germain.
It is understood that the Tottenham chairman, Daniel Levy, and Paratici, who won 19 trophies in his 11 years as sporting director at Juventus, are keen to appoint an experienced manager capable of working with the existing squad. Fonseca, who won three successive league and cup doubles in Ukraine having previously won the Portuguese Cup with Braga, led Roma to fifth place in his first season before reaching the Europa League semi-finals despite a number of injuries, although they were thrashed 8-5 on aggregate by Manchester United.
Levy has looked at several candidates for the manager’s role, including Ajax’s Eric ten Hag, who remains a contender despite his club having triggered a one-year extension to his deal. However, Fonseca now looks likely to be given the opportunity to work in the Premier League for the first time, with the Mozambique-born former centre-back having begun his managerial career in Portugal’s lower leagues in 2005. If appointed, he could face Mourinho’s Roma in the inaugural Europa Conference League after both sides qualified for Uefa’s new club competition by finishing seventh in their respective leagues.