Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham approach ex-Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde

Jamie Spencer
Tottenham have opened initial talks with Ernesto Valverde
Tottenham have opened initial talks with Ernesto Valverde / Eric Alonso/MB Media/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur have extended their new manager search to include former Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde, while there also remains interest from the Premier League side in Ralf Rangnick and Ajax boss Erik ten Hag.

Spurs sacked Jose Mourinho in April and quickly appointed Ryan Mason as interim coach until the end of the 2020/21 season. But their search for a permanent successor to the Portuguese has been much more challenging, with no clear candidate now in the frame.

Talks with former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte fell through, while a deal with ex-Roma coach Paulo Fonseca was seemingly called off at the 11th hour. Spurs also pulled out of talks with Gennaro Gattuso following a #NoToGattuso backlash from fans on social media.

There have also been claims that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and new football managing director Fabio Paratici have differing priorities on what they are looking for in a head coach.

Ernesto Valverde
Valverde has been out of work since he was sacked by Barcelona in January 2020 / Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Levy is said to favour a more expansive and attacking style of football, while former Juventus official Paratici has a more conservative and pragmatic approach.

Journalist Fabrizio Romano has reported that Spurs are in contact with ‘many candidates’, with the aforementioned Valverde the latest name added to the picture.

The 57-year-old, who has taken a break since he was by Barcelona in January 2020 when his team were top of La Liga, is said to have been ‘approached’ by Spurs, but talks are only in the early stages. Rangnick and Ten Hag have been of interest for longer but deals for either would be ‘complicated.

Valverde won La Liga in each of his only two full seasons in charge at Camp Nou, having landed the job in 2017 after impressing in his second spell coaching Athletic Bilbao. His only job outside Spain to date has been two separate spells at perennial Greek champions Olympiacos.

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