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Jose Mourinho's days at Tottenham appear to be numbered as their season threatens to fall apart - Marc Atkins /Getty Images Europe 

Jose Mourinho’s days at Tottenham appear to be numbered as their season threatens to fall apart – Marc Atkins /Getty Images Europe

Tottenham’s season is threatening to fall apart as the traditional ‘Mourinho meltdown’ appears to be in full swing. Defeat to Manchester United at home on Sunday leaves them in seventh place, six point adrift of West Ham in fourth and in danger of fading away in the hunt for Champions League football.

Jose Mourinho is squarely in the crosshairs of Spurs fans, as he once again failed to take responsibility for the weekend’s defeat, choosing instead to shift blame on to his players. The Portuguese is reported to earn £15m per year and is under contract until the end of the 2022/23 season.

Were Levy to cut ties at any time, he would reportedly have to pay Mourinho’s contract out in full, as it has no release clause. This summer appears to be the most natural stopping point, but who could be lined up to replace him?

The Favourite — Julian Nagelsmann

The young RB Leipzig boss’ flirtation with North London has been one of the worst-kept secrets in football this season. His attacking philosophy and tactical nous have made him one of the hottest commodities in the world of management, and Telegraph Sport reported in February that he would be open to a move to England in the summer.

The 33-year-old German said: “The Premier League is a very interesting league and I can imagine it could be a big aim to be a big manager in the Premier League one day like Jurgen [Klopp] who is very successful…It could be a step in the future.”

Tottenham fans have already had an up-close look at what a Nagelsmann team is capable of doing, after they were dumped out of the Champions League last season by his RB Leipzig side 4-0 on aggregate.

Nagelsmann has favoured a narrow 4-2-2-2 system while at RB Leipzig that relies on quick passing and fast transitions. Despite playing some pretty turgid football at times this campaign, Tottenham have looked their best when they counter at speed through the likes of Kane, Son and Lucas Moura. Nagelsmann’s system would allow all three to start, a tantalising prospect for entertainment-starved Spurs fans.

“Winning is what matters and winning is entertaining,” he told Telegraph Sport. “I never want to change my offensive and attacking football because I love it and I love it when the fans have an emotional time in the stadium.”

Julian Nagelsmann has been daubed 'the mini Mourinho' in some corners of the press - ANDY RAIN/EPA-EFE/REX /REXJulian Nagelsmann has been daubed 'the mini Mourinho' in some corners of the press - ANDY RAIN/EPA-EFE/REX /REX

Julian Nagelsmann has been daubed ‘the mini Mourinho’ in some corners of the press – ANDY RAIN/EPA-EFE/REX /REX

The star name — Massimiliano Allegri

It is no secret that Daniel Levy has a penchant for the big name, and they don’t come much bigger than Max Allegri. Out of work since leaving Juventus in the summer of 2019, the 53-year-old Italian is a serial winner, having secured five Serie A titles on the bounce with Juventus.

Allegri has also made no secret of his desire for his next step in management to be to England. Speaking to The Telegraph back in 2018, Allegri said he is “finished” managing in Italy and that his next job would be “abroad”. He even singled Tottenham out for praise, describing them as “a great side and a great club.”

He even reportedly turned down the Paris Saint-Germain job when it came available over the winter, such is his desire to manage on these shores.

Known for his tactically fluid style, Allegri’s teams play a more patient, possession-based game. His Juventus teams would regularly switch between a 4-2-3-1 and 3-5-2 system during matches depending on the opponent and how much attacking pressure he felt he needed to exert.

The primary concerns for Tottenham fans will be his absence of experience outside of Italy as well as his extended period of time out of work. Italian football is generally played at a much slower pace than the blood-and-thunder style of the Premier League, so how he could adapt remains an open question.

Max Allegri is a legend at Juventus after winning five straight Scudetto's, but has yet to prove his chops outside of Serie A - ISABELLA BONOTTO /AFPMax Allegri is a legend at Juventus after winning five straight Scudetto's, but has yet to prove his chops outside of Serie A - ISABELLA BONOTTO /AFP

Max Allegri is a legend at Juventus after winning five straight Scudetto’s, but has yet to prove his chops outside of Serie A – ISABELLA BONOTTO /AFP

The Rookie — Michael Carrick

Given the fact that Levy has been burned by chasing a glitzy brand-name manager, he may choose to change tack entirely when hiring the next boss and plump for a novice who is generating some buzz in coaching circles.

Michael Carrick spent two seasons pulling the strings at the base of Tottenham’s midfield before his successful move to Manchester United. Now part of the United coaching staff, he has reportedly impressed many of the players.

In an interview with talkSPORT, Bruno Fernandes said of him: “For the midfielders, it’s easy for Michael to help and we have a lot to learn from him because he was a top player.”

In what would be a quirk of fate should this move come to pass, Carrick was given his job on the United coaching staff by Mourinho, when he was still the boss at Old Trafford in 2018.

The 39-year-old has made no secret of his desire to one day become a manager. In his 2018 autobiography, Carrick said: “I have to put in the same hard work I did as a player. A decent player doesn’t automatically make a decent manager, I know that. But I will do everything I possibly can.”

Michael Carrick has impressed during his time as a coach at Manchester United under Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - Matthew Peters /Manchester United Michael Carrick has impressed during his time as a coach at Manchester United under Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - Matthew Peters /Manchester United 

Michael Carrick has impressed during his time as a coach at Manchester United under Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – Matthew Peters /Manchester United

The homegrown talent — Steven Gerrard

The size of the Tottenham job brings about its own unique pressures, so Levy will probably look for a boss who has experience handling outsized fan expectations. Step forward the man of the moment, Steven Gerrard.

The former Liverpool captain has rapidly built a stellar reputation thanks to his fantastic start to managerial life at Rangers. In his nearly three seasons in Glasgow, the 40-year-old has rebuilt the club from the doldrums to claim their first title in ten years.

This season has been particularly impressive as his side are unbeaten domestically, winning two Old Firm derbies and reaching the knockout stages of the Europa League, topping their group in the process.

Gerrard has developed a possession-based, 4-3-3 system in Glasgow, built around the skill of his inside forwards and overlapping full-backs. With Moura, Son and Bergwijn potentially at his disposal, coupled with the energetic Reguilon and Aurier, the Spurs squad appears tailor-made for Gerrard already.

A final feather in his cap is his ability to build a squad on a budget. Rangers’ wage bill is £10m less than Celtic’s this season. Tottenham’s finances are in serious peril, as the combination of a new stadium and the Covid-19 pandemic have bitten hard. Significant funds are not likely to be available this summer, particularly if Levy must set aside £30m to pay off Mourinho.

Steven Gerrard has enjoyed an outstanding start to his managerial life, wrestling control of the SPL back off Celtic - Ian MacNicol /Getty Images Europe Steven Gerrard has enjoyed an outstanding start to his managerial life, wrestling control of the SPL back off Celtic - Ian MacNicol /Getty Images Europe 

Steven Gerrard has enjoyed an outstanding start to his managerial life, wrestling control of the SPL back off Celtic – Ian MacNicol /Getty Images Europe

The wild card — Diego Simeone

It’s fun to dream, isn’t it? During his decade-long stint in the Spanish capital, Simeone has established himself as a managerial superstar, winning La Liga, two Europa Leagues, one Copa del Rey and reaching two Champions League finals.

Yet, despite being a cult-hero at Atletico, as well as the highest paid manager in world football, hardly a summer rumbles by without rumours that the 50-year-old Argentine is preparing to move on to pastures new.

He has just over one year left to run on his current deal, so Levy would have to work out a compensation package with Atletico, as well as meet Simeone’s astronomical salary demands.

However, it is hard to argue that the cost wouldn’t be worth it. Through his discipline and defensive genius, Simeone is able to cultivate a cohesive aura around any club and could reunite a fractured Tottenham dressing room.

Tactically, his formations are similar to Nagelsmann, in that he prefers a 4-4-2 which turns into a 4-2-2-2 when Atletico attack, which would suit Tottenham’s squad well.

Diego Simeone is currently the highest paid manager in football and any deal would be difficult to put together - Quality Sport Images /Getty Images Europe Diego Simeone is currently the highest paid manager in football and any deal would be difficult to put together - Quality Sport Images /Getty Images Europe 

Diego Simeone is currently the highest paid manager in football and any deal would be difficult to put together – Quality Sport Images /Getty Images Europe

Who would you replace Jose Mourinho with at Tottenham? Let us know in the comments section below.

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