Tottenham Hotspur have dropped a managerial bombshell after the club revealed on Monday morning that they have sacked Jose Mourinho, just days before the League Cup final.
The decision comes after a 2-2 draw at Everton, which put a big dent in 7th-placed Tottenham’s bid to finish in the top-four of the Premier League.
Despite a bright start to the season, results on a whole have been disappointing of late. Last month Spurs were knocked-out of the Europa League by Dinamo Zagreb, while Everton ended their FA Cup hopes in the fifth round.
Tottenham, who have been unveiled as one of the 12 founding members of the European Super League, will now start the search for their third permanent manager in the space of 18 months - in the meantime Ryan Mason will oversee training until another announcement is made.
For now though, here are 12 names in the frame to become the next Tottenham manager…
A manager in demand.
The attraction is obvious. Over the last few years the talented Julian Nagelsmann has elevated himself into one of the most in-demand and spoken-about managers on the planet.
The 33-year-old RB Leipzig coach is famed for his polymorphous tactical approach, the high-press, his innovation, intelligence, and social competence.
He’d be a huge hit at Spurs, who are striving for an attacking and entertaining brand of football, while his arrival could persuade the likes of Harry Kane to stay put.
Nagelsmann is of course also being hotly linked with the Bayern Munich job following Hansi Flick’s announcement that he’ll leave. He’s since denied that he’s already in talks with the German giants - who he supported as a boy - but despite the obvious lure of the Premier League and Tottenham, if it’s a straight summer shoot-out between the two clubs then there would only be one winner, and it’s not Spurs.
However, the young German could surprise us all and stay committed to current club RB Leipzig who are likely to finish runners-up to Bayern this season, although their title hopes aren’t totally extinguished just yet.
Julian Nagelsmann is one of the early favourites
In terms of managers available for hire, Max Allegri remains top of the pecking order having left Juventus back in 2019. He’ll be itching to get back on the touchline after a two-year sabbatical.
Not only did the Italian lead Juventus to 11 trophies and two Champions League finals in five hugely successful seasons, but prior to that he propelled AC Milan to the title put in the hard graft in the country’s lower leagues.
Allegri hasn’t exactly been shy in proclaiming his intent to work in the Premier League, and the new vacancy at Spurs will now be pinging on his managerial radar.
“I would like to experience the Premier League,” he previously told The Times. “In Italy, I was in Milan for four years. Five years in Juventus. Now I expect (to work again) in Italy, but it is difficult, or in England.
“For me, English football is improving now because there are a lot of foreign trainers. There are more tactics compared to ten years ago. England now is more sophisticated, and more tactical, but is also respecting the tradition of English football.
“It’s a good balance of the spirit of English football and the new quality and new tactical approach of the new coaches."
Allegri adopts a more patient and pragmatic approach to the game, which may not be overly sought-after following Jose Mourinho’s exit, yet he’s tactically flexible and a proven winner who knows how to get the best out of his players. After all, his approach has worked wonders so far in his managerial career.
Brendan Rodgers is doing a superb job at Leicester City
How about a British candidate?
Brendan Rodgers’ managerial star is shining brightly at the moment.
He’s just led Leicester into their first FA Cup final in half-a-century, while the Foxes are on course for a top-four Premier League finish, having just missed out on the Champions League last term. This will be the second successive season that he’s finished above Tottenham.
The tactically astute, excellent man-manager and strategist has moulded together an exciting team, and while Leicester will do everything they can to hold onto their boss, it could prove to be difficult for a man of Rodgers’ ambition to turn down Tottenham should they come calling.
However, it will be interesting to see what happens with the European Super League. At the moment Leicester are heading for the Champions League, a competition Tottenham are unlikely to be in next season. Although, if the new proposals go ahead, Spurs will be in the controversial new ESL.
Speaking of Brits, could Steven Gerrard be an option?
Long considered a future Liverpool manager, what if Stevie G was to flip the script and take charge of Tottenham?
The Rangers boss Gerrard fully deserves all of the plaudits that have been hurled his way this season, after he successfully dispatched Celtic as the kings of Scotland. The Gers, crowned champions last month, are on the cusp of an unbeaten campaign while they are also in contention to make it a league and cup double.
Over the years, he’s also impressed in Europe, with Rangers reaching the last-16 of the Europa League this season.
Could Spurs go for Steven Gerrard?
Eddie Howe has been linked with just about everyone in the last year, so we might as well chuck him into the Tottenham next manager jukebox.
Howe’s attractive and high-tempo brand of football certainly appeals, but to many an appointment would be a risk given that he was relegated from the Premier League in his last job at Bournemouth.
He’s likely going to have to impress at another club first, before he orchestrates himself back into concrete contention to a top-six job.
Jurgen Klinsmann, a 50/1 outsider just before the news broke, suddenly shot in as the favourite in the betting at 7/2 before he swiftly drifted to 13/1.
The former Spurs striker is a fan favourite but, while he may have managed the likes of Bayern Munich and Germany, his only taste of club management in the last 12 years was a 10-game stint at Hertha Berlin last season.
There’s the obvious Tottenham link, but in truth there are more attractive candidates out there.
A 33/1 long shot, but you never know.
Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds contract expires this summer, and while he’s expected to sign one of his trademark one-year deals, should Spurs show interest his head could potentially be turned.
Bielsa has enjoyed a compelling debut season in the Premier League during which Leeds have enthralled and entertained. Just last week his side stunned Man City, with 10-men, while they are due to play Spurs in a few weeks' time…
How about Marcelo Bielsa?
Antonio Conte is all set to end Juventus’ dominance and lead Inter Milan to Serie A glory. It’s a league he’s already won three times with the Old Lady, while he memorably propelled Chelsea to Premier League and FA Cup glory during his brief but successful two-year spell in England.
Despite his imminent title triumph at Inter, Conte’s future isn’t exactly nailed down. Could Spurs take a chance and attempt to lure the serial winner back to the Premier League?
His hot-headed nature could put Daniel Levy off, but given his record he has to be under consideration should there be any sign of him wanting to leave Italy.
Tottenham fans, who would you like to see replace Jose Mourinho?— The Sack Race (@thesackrace) April 19, 2021
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How about another ex-Chelsea manager: Maurizio Sarri?
Sarri is keen to return to management following his one-year stint at Juventus, where he won the title before he rather harshly had to make way for Andrea Pirlo. A decision which backfired.
His style of play requires both specific players and patience, which Daniel Levy may not have at the moment. However, at 33/1 the Italian looks decent value.
And another: Rafa Benitez.
Knows the Premier League inside out and is also available for hire at the moment.
He has buckets of experience and success on his CV, having managed the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Valencia and Napoli.
He also had less impressive spells at Real Madrid and Inter Milan, while he’s still adored at Newcastle, and was last managing in China at Dalian Pro.
Expected to take charge of Germany after the revelation that he’s leaving Bayern Munich.
But, could there be a twist?
Flick has enjoyed an extraordinary 18-month spell at Bayern Munich, who will soon add a seventh trophy under his leadership.
He famously replaced Niko Kovac in November 2019, collected every trophy on offer last season, plus a number of individual manager awards too.
Flick would be a superb appointment - he’s 25/1 at the moment - but unfortunately it looks like he’s off to the international sphere.
The job could have arrived too soon for the current Fulham manager - who is likely to be relegated this season - but the Englishman has been a breath of fresh air this season, and it’s testament to his rising managerial status that he’s been touted as a possible candidate.
Parker knows Tottenham well having worked there as an U18 coach prior to his job at Fulham.
Scroll down for the full list of contenders in the betting...