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While Tottenham are being strongly linked with RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann, a move to north London isn’t necessarily straightforward. Jose Mourinho is now a thing of the past, with the 58-year-old brutally sacked by Daniel Levy on Monday. And many are expecting Spurs to make Nagelsmann their next manager as a result.
Tottenham gambled on Mourinho in October 2019.
Having seen Mauricio Pochettino oversee a difficult start to the campaign, Levy pulled the trigger on the popular Argentine.
In his eyes, Mourinho was the perfect person for the job. A serial winner who could lift Spurs to the higher places in the Premier League table.
Undeterred by the 58-year-old’s sackings at Chelsea and Manchester United, Levy decided it would be worth the risk. If he got the old Jose back, things would change.
Except they didn’t.
Mourinho did well to steer Tottenham into the Europa League last term, celebrating that achievement with those in his inner circle.
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Yet, prior to his departure on Monday, Spurs had sunk back into mediocrity.
They won’t be playing in the Champions League next season barring a miracle, while there will be no Europa League or FA Cup trophy. The Carabao Cup final is this weekend – but Manchester City are the favourites for that.
In the end, with Tottenham stars fed up of Mourinho behind the scenes, Levy took the punt.
“Jose and his coaching staff have been with us through some of our most challenging times as a club,” he said in a statement, confirming Mourinho’s time in the dugout was over.
“Jose is a true professional who showed enormous resilience during the pandemic.
“On a personal level I have enjoyed working with him and regret that things have not worked out as we both had envisaged.
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“He will always be welcome here and we should like to thank him and his coaching staff for their contribution.”
Now, all eyes are on Tottenham as they hunt a Mourinho replacement.
Maurizio Sarri has been linked, with the Italian currently available after leaving Juventus last year.
So too has Brendan Rodgers, who has worked wonders with Leicester City by guiding them to third in the league table.
But Nagelsmann is currently their preferred choice, or so it seems.
However, it was revealed by The Times back in March that, while Levy himself would prefer for a young manager to take over, there are reservations over the Leipzig boss behind the scenes.
It was said Spurs are worried about potentially being a stepping stone in the 33-year-old’s career.
Real Madrid, Manchester United and Chelsea are all admirers of Nagelsmann, whose reputation has soared since taking over at Leipzig from Ralf Rangnick.
But Tottenham fear Nagelsmann may merely use them to boost his own prospects of getting a better job somewhere else further down the line.
It remains to be seen as to whether Spurs are able to entice the German into moving to the Premier League.
But this concern suggests Tottenham will be looking at alternatives, perhaps of Sarri, Rodgers or Massimiliano Allegri’s ilk.
Meanwhile, Simon Jordan thinks Spurs sacked Mourinho days before the Carabao Cup final because they weren’t in the mood to wait.
“Tottenham didn’t fancy him any more, irrespective of what happens on Sunday,” he said.
“So if they won the League Cup, I still think Tottenham would have dismissed Jose Mourinho.
“Why would you do it before then? I look at Daniel Levy and I look at [Tottenham owner] Joe Lewis and I think if Mourinho wins that cup then he would have done effectively what he was brought in to do, which was to win something.
“If they fired him then, not only would he get his contract paid off, is there a possibility, like Antonio Conte, that he would then sue Tottenham for unfair dismissal? On the basis that he had done precisely what he was brought in to do.
“Conte did sue Chelsea. Not only did he get the money he was owed by Chelsea for the rest of his contract irrespective of the fact he was working for someone else… he also got another big bag of money.
“My feelings looking at the animals that are involved is that there’s a possibility that winning the League Cup means nothing to Tottenham.
“It means less than getting rid of Jose Mourinho and not having to pay him any further money as a result of him achieving something he was brought in to do, which was to win a piece of silverware.”
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