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Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy is reportedly prepared to fire head coach Antonio Conte during the ongoing international break.
The 53-year-old’s future in North London is in question due to the club’s decline in performance and his harsh criticism of his “selfish” players and the club’s hierarchy after last weekend’s 3-3 Premier League draw against relegation threatened Southampton.
Conte’s Costly Diatribe Against Spurs Players
“We are 11 players that go into the pitch. I see selfish players, players that don’t want to help each other and don’t put their heart [into it],” Conte said at a press conference following the result.
“This season compared to last, now we are worse in this aspect. When you are not a team you cannot improve,” he stated.
“They don’t play for something important,” Conte stated, “They don’t want to play under pressure, they don’t want to play under stress. It is easy in this way.”
“Tottenham’s story is this, 20 years there is the owner and they never won something but why? The fault is only for the club, or for every manager that stays here,” he added.
“I have seen the managers that Tottenham had on the bench. You risk to disrupt the figure of the manager and to protect the other situation in every moment,” Conte said, “Until now I try to hide the situation but now, no, because I repeat I don’t want to see what I have seen today.”
“Everyone has to take responsibility. Not only the club, the manager and the staff. The players have to be involved in this situation because it is time to change this situation if Tottenham want to change. They can change the manager, a lot of managers, but the situation cannot change. Believe me.”
Spurs have been knocked out of both the Champions League and FA Cup this month, and have won only three of their last nine matches in all competitions, while they are clinging on to fourth spot in the Premier League, with fifth-placed Newcastle United sitting just two points behind with two games in hand.
Conte is due to see his contract at Tottenham expire at the end of the season, but he may be heading for the exit door early, with some first-team players allegedly in favor of the Italian being relieved of his duties imminently.
Discussions Ongoing Regarding Conte Exit
According to The Mail, Spurs are set to hold internal discussions with Conte regarding his exit from the club, with Levy prepared to sack the former Chelsea boss during this month’s international break.
The report adds that talks over a possible compensation package – believed to be worth around £4m – have already taken place. However, an agreement betweeen the two parties is yet to have been reached.
Should they reach an agreement, Conte’s exit is rumored to be imminent, and Ryan Mason, the first-team coach, may well fill in on an interim basis until the end of the season.
Following Jose Mourinho’s resignation, the 31-year-old was placed in temporary leadership of Spurs for the remainder of the 2020-21 season.
This week, Mason has conducted squad training at Hotspur Way in the absence of Conte, who just returned to his family home in Turin.
Thomas Tuchel, Luis Enrique, Oliver Glasner, Ruben Amorim, Roberto De Zerbi, and Marco Silva are among those rumored to be on Tottenham’s radar as prospective Conte replacements.
Four years after his sacking, former Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino has been linked with a return to North London, but Levy reportedly has misgivings about re-appointing the Argentine.
On April 3, Tottenham will return to Premier League action when they travel to Goodison Park to face relegation-threatened Everton. It is yet to be seen who will be in charge of the first team at that point.
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