Next Tottenham managers - the contenders to replace Antonio Conte
By Euan Burns
It's become the longest running joke in football. Tottenham are still searching for a permanent coach to take over after Antonio Conte departed the club.
The writing was on the wall for a long time but Spurs confirmed Conte's departure by mutual consent during March's international break after a disappointing run of form.
After the Italian's unique blend of draining pragmatism proved too much to suffer, Daniel Levy turned to Conte's assistant Cristian Stellini. That experiment lasted all of four matches, concluding with a diabolical 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Newcastle.
With former manager Mauricio Pochettino poised to join London rivals Chelsea, the possibility of a heartwarming reunion has been all but snatched off the table.
Here are the less romantic managerial options Tottenham could turn to while Ryan Mason has been leading the team as best he can.
Teams managed: Watford, Reading, Swansea, Liverpool, Celtic, Leicester
One of the latest names to enter the fray is Brendan Rodgers, and it's a rumour which has been met with a huge amount of pessimism.
While Rodgers has shown great skill during his parts of his career, the general belief is he doesn't have what it takes to coach a team that wants to consistently be in the top four.
Rodgers will be the man deemed responsible if Leicester get relegated this season given he was in charge up until April. That is largely why Tottenham fans are not thrilled by this link.
Teams managed: South Melbourne, Australia U17, Australia U20, Panachaiki, Whittlesea Zebras, Brisbane Roar, Melbourne Victory, Australia, Yokohama F. Marinos and Celtic
Sticking with the Celtic theme, another new name from further down on Tottenham's initial list that featured the likes of Julian Nagelsmann and Roberto De Zerbi is Ange Postecoglou.
The Australian coach is the current Celtic manager and has been suggested as Spurs' primary choice by the Independent after Feyenoord's Arne Slot ruled himself out. Postecoglou has played expansive and entertaining football at Celtic which has led to plenty of praise.
Tottenham may also hope their positive relationship with Celtic will make any negotiations easier than they were with Feyenoord for Slot.
Teams managed: Vigontina San Paolo, Union ArzignanoChiampo, Trapani, Spezia, Fiorentina
Another name not previously mentioned but now in the fray, Vincenzo Italiano is one of Italy's hottest managerial prospects.
The former Spezia man has been at Fiorentina for two seasons now, reaching the finals of the Coppa Italia and the Europa Conference League. The Coppa Italia final was recently lost to Inter and Fiorentina have dropped slightly into mid table in Serie A, but Italiano is clearly a very talented coach.
Teams managed: Denmark Under-16s, Denmark Under-17s, Denmark Under-19s, Brondby IF, Brentford
Danish coach Thomas Frank has done a wonderful job at Brentford in his five years in charge and this could be the moment he decides to take the next step.
He has proven himself as a project manager and may well need some patience to begin with as he finds his feet, but there is reason to believe he could be up to the job. Brentford could still grab a Europa Conference League place which may affect whether Frank wants to leave or not.
Teams managed: Barcelona B, Roma, Celta Vigo, Barcelona, Spain
It's been a few years since Luis Enrique last led a club side. That team was Barcelona, who he previously represented and where Lionel Messi was playing at the time.
The former midfielder has since had two spells as Spain's national team coach, the second of which came to an end after their disappointing 2022 World Cup campaign. He has never previously managed in the Premier League.
His name has been linked with almost every managerial job in Europe now and Napoli are also said to be very interested in the Spaniard, meaning Spurs would not have a clear run.
On this edition of OWAN, part of the 90min podcast network, Sean Walsh and Jude Summerfield discuss the news Arne Slot won't be taking over as the news Spurs boss, the loss to Brentford, who might take the job & more! If you can't see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!