Soccer

Tottenham ‘courting Maurizio Sarri’ as post-Conte plans stepped up

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Tottenham are reportedly ‘courting’ former Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri as Daniel Levy steps up plans for life after Antonio Conte. West Ham and Everton are also believed to be interested in the Lazio manager who could be set for a return to the Premier League in the summer. 

It looks increasingly likely that Conte’s stint at Tottenham will come to an end in the summer with talks yet to begin over a new deal. The Italian oversaw the club’s best-ever start to a Premier League season this year but results have dried up in recent months with just three wins in 10 and the Lilywhites have fallen off the pace in the race for the top four. 

Attention has already started to turn to who could replace the 53-year-old in the summer with recent reports suggesting talks had begun with former boss Mauricio Pochettino. However, surprising reports from Italy suggest former Chelsea boss Sarri could also be an option. 

Il Messaggero reports that Spurs are one of the Premier League clubs ‘courting’ the 64-year-old. Everton and West Ham are also believed to hold an interest in his services however the Italian’s priority is said to remain with his current club at this moment in time. 

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Sarri divided opinion during his one-year spell at Stamford Bridge with fans divided over his style of play. He did lead the club to third in the Premier League and won his first major trophy as a manager when he claimed the Europa League.

However, he is perhaps best remembered for his on-field dispute with Kepa Arrizabalaga towards the end of the League Cup final. The Spaniard eventually staying on against his manager’s wishes. 

He left in 2019 to return to Italy with Juventus, with the club suggesting he wanted to be closer to his elderly parents. Yet, there was a feeling that the move was best for all parties given the reservations held by some at the Blues. 

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Conte’s tenure in north London has soured in recent months despite leading the club to their best ever start to a Premier League campaign. There has been an alarming drop off in form in the games since however with just three wins in the last ten in the Premier League. 

It has not just been the club’s on-field form that has bothered club chiefs. The Times reports have been ‘less than impressed’ by Conte’s insistence on airing his grievances in public via his press conferences. As a result, it is even more likely that he will depart in six months’ time.

It remains to be seen who will replace Conte at Tottenham but Sarri is one of a long list of names to have been linked including former boss Pochettino and another ex-Chelsea manager in Thomas Tuchel. 

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