New Tottenham manager search: What we know so far as shortlist drawn up

Alex Young
·5-min read
 (ES Composite)
(ES Composite)

For the second time in less than 18 months, Tottenham are looking for a new manager.

Just a few hours passed between Mauricio Pochettino's five-and-a-half-year reign ending and Jose Mourinho's 17-month reign beginning, but Spurs are taking their time with the next appointment.

Ryan Mason has been installed as interim head coach until the end of the season, but chairman Daniel Levy is expected to make a higher-profile permanent choice for next season.

A host of names across Europe have been linked, though the club’s first-choice target has already been snapped up elsewhere.

Here's the latest on Tottenham's next manager search...

Getty Images
Getty Images

The profile

Tottenham flipped philosophy from Mauricio Pochettino’s expansive brand of football, on the front foot with a high press, to Jose Mourinho’s defensive-minded approach of sitting back, soaking up pressure and counter-attacking.

It is thought Daniel Levy is looking for someone more in the mould of Pochettino for his next appointment, though money is tight so no big name is expected to be holding up a Spurs scarf anytime soon.

Watch: Mason remains coy on Tottenham future

Levy wants progressive football with a focus on bringing through younger talent, and the manager would currently have to work with a transfer committee regarding player signings, rather than have full say on who comes in and out.

Having discussed a lengthy selection of names based on the above criteria, Levy is now understood to have narrowed down the possible candidates to a shortlist ahead of starting talks with potential new managers.

The candidates

POOL/AFP via Getty Images
POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Julian Nagelsmann

RB Leipzig’s Julian Nagelsmann was understood to be Tottenham’s first choice for the vacancy, the club having long held an interest in the 33-year-old which dates back to before Jose Mourinho’s time at the club.

However, turmoil a war of words between Bayern Munich and treble-winning head coach Hansi Flick has prompted the German giants into action. They quickly stumped up the reported £20million fee for Nagelsman to secure his services from the summer.

Flick is now expected to replace the outgoing Joachim Lowe as Germany head coach following Euro 2020.

The FA via Getty Images
The FA via Getty Images

Brendan Rodgers

Another name with plenty of admirers in N17 is Brendan Rodgers. After success at both Liverpool, Celtic and currently Leicester City, the former Chelsea coach is considered among the best British managers in the game who offers an attractive brand of football.

However, Rodgers has moved to end any speculation over his future by insisting he has no interest in joining Spurs. Telling reporters: “Tottenham is a great club, one of the biggest clubs in Britain but for me I’m just in a really, really happy place in my life.

“I’m very happy here. I have huge respect here for the players, the board and I really feel that I want to continue my work here.

‘I’ve got a really strong relationship with the board. We work very closely together. I’ve got a set of players that give me their heart and soul every single day and also I can see a future here in terms of the development of the squad.”

In any case, Rodgers is understood to be on a big wage at the King Power Stadium and Levy being able to offer a similar package, while also continuing to pay the sacked Mourinho, is unclear.


Erik ten Hag

As such, Ajax’s Erik ten Hag was understood to be high up Levy’s list. The 51-year-old has won everything domestically with the Dutch giants and, with a little over 12 months to run on his contract, would command a smaller fee to lure to north London.

The Guardian reported that a meeting between Tottenham and Ten Hag was expected as Daniel Levy looked to wrap up an appointment before the summer, with Ten Hag open to discussions.

However, Ten Hag has since signed a contract extension at Ajax to end speculation over his future.

APA/AFP via Getty Images
APA/AFP via Getty Images

Ralph Rangnick

Another name in the frame is Ralph Rangnick, who is currently head of sport and development at Red Bull after two spells as manager at Leipzig.

He has been credited as influencing the likes of Nagelsmann and Jurgen Klopp and is credited with moulding the idea of Gegenpressing. However, he has not been directly involved in coaching for two years.


Graham Potter

Graham Potter is understood to be of interest having impressed on the south coast with Brighton’s style of play, though may prove difficult to acquire from Brighton having signed a long-term contract which runs until 2025.

Albion deputy chairman and chief executive Paul Barber recently told The Argus: “We have no desire whatsoever to lose Graham. Graham is very happy here ... As far as we are concerned there is absolutely no way we would allow Graham to leave at this time.”

Potter echoed Barber’s comments last week, telling reporters: "We haven't finished anything here, there's a lot to do and I am really happy here. It's nice to hear Paul say that, he doesn't have to, but it's nice."

Anyone else?

England manager Gareth Southgate and his Belgium counterpart Roberto Martinez have also been linked with the job but neither would be available until after this summer’s European Championship, with Spurs likely to confirm an appointment before the tournament concludes.

Southgate is thought to be flattered by Spurs interest and would consider the role in the event that he is sacked by the FA following a disappointing tournament, but would not walk away from England for a club job.

Fulham’s Scott Parker, who left his coaching role at the club to move to Craven Cottage, has also been linked, while Massimiliano Allegri and Rafa Benitez are both experienced out-of-work coaches who would consider an approach.

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