If Antonio Conte leaves at the end of the season, who could Spurs replace him with?

Antonio Conte has masterminded a late-season turnaround that has put Spurs on course for Champions League qualification, but the Italian’s volatile nature and the lack of assurances about his future in the long term could result in yet another managerial change in the summer. If that were to happen, who could Spurs turn to?

Conte was appointed head coach in November after a poor run of form saw former boss Nuno Espírito Santo sacked after just four months in the role. While it has not all been plain sailing since Conte’s appointment, Spurs now appear to be on the right track, and the 4-0 victory over Aston Villa put them in pole position for Champions League football.

Fans placing wagers on the final matches of the 2021/22 Premier League season at bookmakers listed on bets.co.uk will be backing Spurs to win more often than not considering their current impressive form, but could a late slump trigger a surprise Conte exit? There are not many high-quality options to turn to, especially as Man United are closing in on Erik ten Hag from Ajax.

However, that appointment clears the way for a potential return for Mauricio Pochettino, who has never looked entirely settled with Paris Saint-Germain despite them cruising to the Ligue 1 title this term. The Argentine is said to have unfinished business at Spurs, and he would be a popular choice with the majority of fans after his excellent tenure the first time around, which included a memorable run to the Champions League final.

If Pochettino opts to stay in Paris, another option could be Julen Lopetegui, who has recovered from a poor stint at Real Madrid by winning the Europa League with Sevilla and guiding them to second place in La Liga this year. Lopetegui was reportedly on United’s shortlist, and he would bring the attractive, attacking play that Spurs fans crave.

For a homegrown alternative, Graham Potter appears to be leading the way. The Englishman has performed excellently with Brighton, where his eye-catching high pressing and passing system has made the Seagulls one of the best teams to watch for a neutral. That was evident recently when Brighton beat Arsenal 2-1 at Emirates Stadium. Whether Potter would thrive in a bigger job remains to be seen, but if Conte did leave, he could finally be ready to make the step up.

Recent reports have suggested Spurs could opt for a more left-field appointment, with Rennes manager Bruno Génésio among the lesser-known names being touted. Génésio is enjoying a solid season in Ligue 1, where he has helped Rennes to third place with seven games left. The 55-year-old’s CV is some way off Conte’s, however, having only held three managerial roles, including one in China with Beijing Guoan. 

Conte looks happy with Spurs right now, and if they do finish in the top four, it would be a surprise if he decided to leave 12 months before his contract ends. However, stranger things have happened, and fans will hope Daniel Levy does have a backup plan in place this time as the protracted search for a boss last summer didn’t reflect well on the club and led to early-season struggles.