The Italian’s turbulent 16-month reign has come to a close in the wake of the 53-year-old’s extraordinary post-match rant following Spurs’ 3-3 draw at Southampton last Saturday. Conte, who had seen his side exit the FA Cup and Champions League in quick succession, watched Tottenham concede twice in the final 13 minutes on the south coast to lose ground in the top-four race. He launched a furious tirade against his own “selfish players” and shut down uncertainty over his future as “excuses” for a squad who have failed to end the club’s trophy drought that dates back to 2008. The Italian’s contract was set to expire in the summer and he had remained coy over the prospect of extending his stay in London all season, but fourth-placed Spurs have now cut their losses with the former Chelsea boss.
With the battle for a top-four place in the English Premier League and qualification for the Champions League still up for grabs, Cristian Stellini – previously Conte’s assistant – will take charge of Tottenham’s final 10 matches of the season, starting with a match away at Everton this weekend. However, in the background, the club’s hierarchy will be searching for their next head coach by the start of next season.
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou, who has been linked with vacancies at Brighton, Crystal Palace, Everton and Leeds this season, features among the early list of candidates to replace Conte. The 57-year-old Australian, who is on course to land a treble with the Glasgow outfit this season, is rated at 12/1 by the bookmakers to become Spurs’ next manager. Former Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann is the warm favourite to land the role, currently as short as evens, while current coach Ryan Mason (6/4), ex-Spurs boss Mauricio Pocchettino (4/1) and Brighton’s Roberto de Zerbi (11/2) feature high in the betting. Thomas Frank, who has impressed at Brentford, is also listed at 8/1.
The lure of Champions League football next season could prove crucial as to who Tottenham manage to land, with the north-London club battling with Newcastle United and Liverpool for fourth place in the EPL.