Tottenham board have Nuno Espirito Santo ‘concerns’ as managerial saga takes new turn
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Tottenham have made former Wolves manager Nino Espirito Santo their leading man to replace Jose Mourinho. However, while that’s the case, reports say some board members within the club harbour doubts over his credentials. Spurs have been rejected by the likes of Julian Nagelsmann, Antonio Conte and Julen Lopetegui as Daniel Levy mulls over his next move.
Tottenham are a club in a crisis.
Nagelsmann was initially earmarked as their ideal candidate to replace Mourinho, who was axed just days before the Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City.
But he ended up rejecting them for Bayern Munich instead and, in the time since, Spurs have struggled to land a new boss.
Levy is currently mulling over his options, having been snubbed by the likes of Conte, Lopetegui, Brendan Rodgers and Erik Ten Hag so far.
They’ve also seen talks with the likes of Gennaro Gattuso and Paulo Fonseca fail, while Paris Saint-Germain have flatly refused to let Mauricio Pochettino return.
Now, sights have been set on Nuno.
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He’s available, having left Wolves at the end of the season.
Yet the Daily Mail say some Tottenham board members are concerned about the Portuguese and the way his side failed to recover from losing Diogo Jota to Liverpool.
It’s also been noted at board level that Wolves struggled for goals after the head injury to Raul Jimenez, who fractured his skull during a match with Southampton in November.
However, while the concerns exist, Tottenham are in no position to get picky.
And Nuno now seems the favourite to take over, with the former Wolves boss willing to take the reins having previously intended to take some time out and spend it with his family.
How Tottenham would fare under the 47-year-old is something only time will tell, with Nuno famed for his defensive style of play.
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And he may be given a difficult task should the club sell Harry Kane, with Manchester City pressing hard to land the England international.
Tottenham and Levy have made it clear their prized asset isn’t for sale, despite the 28-year-old’s determination to leave the club following their failure to win a major trophy during his spell in the first team.
And that will give Spurs another headache as they look ahead to the start of the new Premier League campaign.
Not everybody is against the appointment of Nuno, however, with former Crystal Palace chief Simon Jordan saying in April he’d be the ideal man to take over from Mourinho in north London.
“There’s your guy,” he said.
“He’s an outstanding manager and he’s got all the energy, vitality and the determination but can you get him out of Wolves?
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“With his connections to Portuguese agents, with his attitude towards players, with the style of football he wants to play, with his conviction and that he doesn’t care about anything and anyone besides his team.
“Look at the run-ins he used to have with Warnock back in the Championship…
“He’s a proven leader of men, he’s built a team in Wolves that’s knocked on the door without quite the same kind of livery, heritage and resource. There’s your guy.”
The possible appointment of Nuno seems to contradict what Levy said in May, with the Tottenham supremo previously insisting he’d go for an attacking manager.
“This season, for many reasons, we have not met our raised expectations on the pitch,” Levy said.
“Everyone had high hopes with the squad we had assembled. Unfortunately, despite sitting top of the Premier League in December, we have not been able to sustain this position.
“As a club we have been so focused on delivering the stadium and dealing with the impact of the pandemic, that I feel we lost sight of some key priorities and what’s truly in our DNA.
“Our work in the community and with the NHS is an example of when we get it right, but we don’t get everything right.
“It has never been because we don’t care about or respect you, our fans – nothing could be further from the truth.
“We are acutely aware of the need to select someone whose values reflect those of our great club and return to playing football with the style for which we are known – free-flowing, attacking and entertaining – whilst continuing to embrace our desire to see young players flourish from our Academy alongside experienced talent.”
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