Tottenham Sack Nuno Espirito Santo, Set To Replace Him With Conte

Tottenham
Nuno Espirito Santo

Tottenham have sacked Nuno Espirito Santo less than five months after he was appointed as head coach.

Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, who Spurs targeted before appointing Nuno in the summer, has been offered an 18-month deal by Tottenham and arrived in London on Monday for face-to-face talks, according to Sky Sports.

Negotiations with the Italian, who has been out of work since leaving Inter Milan in the summer, are understood to be in their final stages.

Tottenham are eighth in the Premier League, 10 points off leaders Chelsea, after the 3-0 home defeat to Manchester United on Saturday.

47-year-old Nuno signed a two-year contract in June following a protracted search to find Jose Mourinho’s successor, with his tenure lasting just beyond four months and a total of only 17 games.

The departure of Nuno, who left Wolves in May after four seasons in charge, means Tottenham are looking for their fourth permanent manager in the last three years.

A Spurs statement said: “The club can today announce that Nuno Espirito Santo and his coaching staff Ian Cathro, Rui Barbosa and Antonio Dias have been relieved of their duties.

“A further coaching update will follow in due course.”

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Spurs next action is a home game against Vitesse Arnhem in the Europa Conference League on Thursday ahead of a visit to Everton in the Premier League on Sunday.

Antonio Conte
Antonio Conte. Photo credit: Sky Sports

Spurs managing director of football Fabio Paratici added: “I know how much Nuno and his coaching staff wanted to succeed and I regret that we have had to take this decision.

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“Nuno is a true gentleman and will always be welcome here. We should like to thank him and his coaching staff and wish them well for the future.”

Tottenham fans booed Nuno’s decision to replace Lucas Moura with Steven Bergwijn in the second half of the defeat to United, which followed last weekend’s Premier League loss at West Ham.

Sections of the Spurs support also chanted “we want Levy out”, with England captain Harry Kane, who expressed his desire to leave the club during the summer, also a target of frustration for some fans.

Conte left Inter by mutual consent in May, just three weeks after leading the club to a first Serie A title in 11 years, adding to the three league titles he claimed with Juventus between 2011 and 2014.

The 52-year-old became embroiled in a dispute with the club’s owners after they proposed a downsizing of his squad, with Inter chairman Steven Zhang reportedly asking Conte to cut his wage bill by 15 to 20 per cent.

Conte had joined Inter after leaving Chelsea, where he became one of just four managers to win the Premier League in his first season in English football. Despite winning the FA Cup in his second season at Stamford Bridge, the former Italy boss was dismissed after a fifth-placed league finish.

Conte’s record of 51 victories from 76 games gives him the second-highest win rate of coaches who have taken charge of at least 50 Premier League games, trailing only Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

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