Tottenham hit early stumbling block in Julian Nagelsmann pursuit
Tottenham’s interest in Julian Nagelsmann is being complicated by the German's desire for a break before deciding on his next job.
Spurs sources have played down reports that Nagelsmann is their leading target to succeed Antonio Conte - who was sacked on Sunday and replaced by his No2 Cristian Stellini - and that they have already made contact with his representative.
Spurs spoke to Nagelsmann's camp in 2021 about succeeding Jose Mourinho.
Nagelsmann is understood to be in no rush to decide his future following his surprise sacking by Bayern Munich last week, potentially leaving Spurs in limbo.
He is likely to want to wait until the summer to assess his options, when Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are among the European clubs likely to have a managerial vacancy, while reports in Germany claim Bayern would be due compensation if he takes a job before the end of the season.
The 35-year-old was swiftly replaced at Bayern by former Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, who was himself a Spurs target in the first half of last week.
Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman, wants to begin the process of finding his 12th permanent manager in 22 years immediately and avoid the chaos that ultimately followed Mourinho's sacking two years ago. Spurs were rejected by a succession of managers, including Nagelsmann, Hansi Flick and Conte, before settling on Nuno Espirito Santo at the end of a shambolic 72-day search. The Portuguese lasted 17 games.
Real are known to admire Nagelsmann although could also pursue Mauricio Pochettino, another possible contender for Spurs.
Pochettino has not been approached by Spurs about returning to the club, despite being a free agent and having previously said he is open to a reunion.
As well as Nagelsmann and Pochettino, Brighton coach Roberto De Zerbi, Celtic's Ange Postecoglou, PSG's Christophe Galtier and former Spain boss Luis Enrique are also understood to be under consideration.
Fabio Paratici, Tottenham's managing director, is said to be leading succession planning for Conte but faces an uncertain future in the game while he awaits the outcome of an appeal over a 30-month ban from Italian football.
Paratici has been back in Italy and yesterday a planned hearing to determine whether a second case in which he is a defendant will go to trial was delayed until May 10.
Paratici was not mentioned in Spurs' statement confirming Conte's departure, despite being nominally in charge of the football side of the club and the coach's point of contact with the board.
Conte last night wrote on Instagram: "Football is passion. I would like to deeply thank everyone at Spurs who appreciated and shared my passion and my intense way of living football as a coach. A special thought to the fans who always showed me support and appreciation, it's been unforgettable to hear them singing my name.
"Our journey together has ended, I wish you all the best for the future."