Football’s managerial merry-go-round
What does the future hold for Mauricio Pochettino, Zinedine Zidane and Antonio Conte?
At the end of any football season it’s usually the futures of the players that keep the rumour mill revolving ahead of the summer transfer window. This year though it’s the managers that are hogging the headlines.
Yesterday it was confirmed that Antonio Conte was leaving Inter Milan, just three weeks after guiding the Italians to their first Serie A title in 11 years. And just this morning Zinedine Zidane has departed Real Madrid for a second time while Mauricio Pochettino was being linked with a return to Tottenham Hotspur.
Here we take a look at what the future may hold for the trio...
Spurs ‘make contact’ with Pochettino
Tottenham have been without a permanent head coach since Jose Mourinho was sacked in April after 17 months in charge. But according to the BBC, Spurs have “made contact” with their former boss Pochettino over a sensational return.
After being appointed in 2014, the 49-year-old Argentine led the north London club to the Champions League final in 2019 before departing in November that year. He’s currently in charge of Paris Saint-Germain but Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is “considering trying to persuade” their ex-boss to leave the French capital, The Sun reports. Levy has admitted to friends that sacking Pochettino was the worst mistake of his career.
Pochettino “would love a second chance” at White Hart Lane and it could also be Spurs’ “ace card” to keep star striker Harry Kane, who last week told Sky Sports’s Gary Neville that he wants to leave.
However, it’s not just Spurs who are interested in Pochettino. Goal.com reports that Real Madrid have made him their top managerial target after Zinedine Zidane’s exit.
Conte out, Allegri or Inzaghi in at Inter?
Just a few weeks ago former Chelsea boss Conte was celebrating winning the Italian title with Inter Milan. Yesterday he was out of a job after falling out with Inter chiefs over plans to cut costs and sell €80m (£68.8m) of players this summer, The Guardian reports.
Conte “concluded his ambitions were at odds with Inter’s plans” and walks away with a payout of €7m (£6m). The Italian has also been linked with the vacant Spurs job, but talkSPORT’s Simon Jordan has warned it would be a “match made in hell” as he always leaves a “trail of carnage”. Real Madrid is another possible destination.
Former Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri and current Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi have been named in Italian media as potential successors to Conte at Inter, ESPN reports.
Zidane ‘will always have a home’ at Real Madrid
Today it has also been confirmed that Zinedine Zidane has left Real Madrid. A “Galáctico” during his playing days with the Spanish club, the Frenchman has also been head coach twice at the Santiago Bernabéu.
In his first spell from 2016 to 2018 he won three consecutive Champions League titles and La Liga once. After quitting in May 2018, he returned ten months later and won a second Spanish championship last season. This year though his team missed out on the title by two points to city rivals Atletico Madrid.
Real praised their departing boss for his “professionalism, dedication and passion” and “respect his decision”. In an official statement Real said: “Zidane is one of Real Madrid’s great icons and his legacy extends beyond what he has achieved as a coach and player at our club. He is aware that he has a place in the hearts of the Real Madrid fans and that he will always have a home at Real Madrid.”
With PSG boss Pochettino possibly returning to Tottenham, there could be a vacancy in Paris that may interest Zidane. Spanish football expert Alvaro Montero told Sky Sports News that Zidane “could well head back to France if Pochettino decides to return to Tottenham”. He’s also regularly been linked with the Juventus job and is a potential successor to France head coach Didier Deschamps.