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Tottenham Hotspur have no immediate intentions to fire manager Antonio Conte, according to a new report by the Daily Mail.
However, it is said that chairman Daniel Levy is prepared to act if he determines that the club’s Champions League ambitions are collapsing.
Levy is currently delegating the future of the head coach’s post to the club’s football operations team, overseen by sporting director Fabio Paratici, as internal criticism over Conte’s status grows.
Following Wednesday night’s embarrassing Champions League loss at the hands of AC Milan, the Tottenham board may even consider terminating the manager’s contract, according to some rumors.
As a result of this season’s underwhelming performances, Spurs’ 14-year trophy drought will continue.
Conte Departure Expected Ahead of Next Season
Conte is anticipated to depart Tottenham before the start of next season, when his current contract is set to expire. Neither Conte nor Tottenham are interested in exercising a 12-month option to extend his contract.
Yet for now, Conte is expected to be in command for Saturday’s home match against Nottingham Forest, with the club’s footballing department keen to stand by him despite the uncertainty surrounding his long-term future.
Tottenham are now fourth in the Premier League and have a solid chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League despite the fact that they will complete yet another season without a title.
With the financial stakes so high, Levy does not want to make any mistakes that could jeopardize the team’s prospects of placing in the top four. Without the money earned from European football, the club could well struggle to compete with their rivals in the league.
Conte Could Face Sack if Europe in Doubt
Yet, there is a belief at Tottenham that the Spurs owner is willing to take matters into his own hands before the season ends if he believes Conte’s continued leadership is harming the team’s chances of finishing in the top four.
If Spurs were to lose to relegation threatened Nottingham Forest this weekend, it could force Levy to make a decision.
If Tottenham were to terminate connections with Conte before his June contract expiration, they would not incur a hefty compensation fee.
The cost of dismissing Conte, who makes £15 million year, will not surpass £5 million.
Because the lcub have the option to extend Conte’s contract by a year, they are not in a position where they will have to pay him the whole fee for that additional year.
But, work on a Conte succession plan has already begun in the background.
Tottenham are reported to have looked closely at Mauricio Pochettino, Steve Cooper, Roberto De Zerbi, Olivier Glasner, or Luis Enrique, among others.
Paratici has been significantly involved in the identification of probable Conte replacement candidates.
Yet, even his future at Tottenham is uncertain as the Italian awaits the outcome of his appeal after being convicted of financial impropriety in Italy for suspected offenses committed during his time with Juventus.
Pochettino’s prospective return to Spurs will thrill fans and may help the club convince Harry Kane to sign a new deal. Kane will not determine how he plans to go with his future ahead of next season until he meets with Levy in the summer.
Yet, there is not unanimous support for the Argentine’s reappointment, although it is believed that Levy is among those who see the value in a potential Pochettino return.
A number of Tottenham players have grown weary of Conte’s intense regime, with the coach’s penchant for altering the team’s training schedule being a particular source of annoyance.
A new management style could reignite optimism in these players and ensure Spurs get the results they need before the end of the season to place in the top four.