Reputable Spanish journalist Siro López in the last few hours confirmed that Antonio Conte has been ruled out of contention for the Real Madrid job.
It’s another massive development in Spurs’ search for a new manager. The saga has evolved considerably in the last few days, as both Conte and Mauricio Pochettino pole-vaulted to frontrunners to land the Tottenham job. Well, it looks like, if Game Time’s tweet on behalf of Lopez is verified, that Madrid are no longer interested in Conte.
The last line of the below tweet roughly translates to “@Real Madrid discards Antonio Conte and Raúl González for the white bench.”
Does that mean Madrid have turned their attention to Pochettino as their primary target? It feels like, after Massimiliano Allegri was confirmed as Juventus’ manager, Madrid has Pochettino in their crosshairs. Retired Spanish legend Raul Gonzalez is the other leading candidate for the role.
Either way, the path to Conte has been cleared for a final Tottenham advance, if that is still what Daniel Levy desires. Conte also, ignoring for a second his exorbitant potential salary, represents a more economical option for Spurs, as an over-the-top fee will be required to land Pochettino. PSG triggered the option to extend Pochettino’s contract, making him harder to acquire.
Four days ago Spurs reportedly offered Conte a prospective contract of £17 million per season, six million pounds more than the charismatic Italian earned last season at Inter.
But one thing is clear, both managers appear to be there for the taking. Pochettino yesterday made his desire to leave PSG official, which many took as a sign that he was on the verge of signing for Spurs.
But this latest development leads one to hypothesize that Pochettino is leaning toward taking the Madrid job. However, things happen quickly in this ever-evolving, fluid, even volatile situation.
Conte, based on today’s development, is now favoured, albeit marginally, to take the helm at Tottenham Hotspur, which will please thoroughly large sections of supporters.
As we’ve seen in the last week, though, things can change drastically in the matter of a few hours.
For now Levy has his shot, if he decides to take it, to convince Conte to take on the gargantuan responsibility of turning things around at Tottenham Hotspur.