We’ve heard of player swaps but manager swaps are unheard of, but it appears that Antonio Conte to PSG and Mauricio Pochettino back to Tottenham is gathering steam.
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According to multiple reports in France, including this one in Le Parisien, Paris Saint-Germain are set to fire Pochettino despite the Argentine coach leading them to the Ligue 1 title over the weekend.
It is believed that PSG want to hire current Tottenham boss Antonio Conte to replace Pochettino, therefore leaving a spot for the latter to rejoin Tottenham.
Head in a spin? Mine too. But could this actually happen and would it work out better for everyone?
Could a manager swap actually happen?
A lot of things would have to fall into place for this to happen, but it is plausible.
Conte has just over a year left on the 18-month contract he signed to take charge of Tottenham and he hasn’t exactly been delighted with his first six months in charge. Despite that, he has Spurs battling for fourth place heading into the final five games of the season and if he seals a top four finish that would be remarkable.
That said, if he isn’t in the Champions League next season then his entire project at Spurs could be in limbo.
Harry Kane may be pushing to leave once again, while transfer funds will be limited and the rigors of the Europa League will surely impact their Premier League form. According to The Telegraph, Conte will wait until the summer to decide his Tottenham future as he believes the north London club need to sign at least six new players to ‘match his ambitions.’
The stars could align for Conte to move on this summer to PSG and then Spurs have a ready-made replacement who loves the club, did a phenomenal job from 2014-2019 and has proven he can turn them in to top four contenders.
Would this be a good idea?
In realty this all hinges on Conte.
If he wants to leave Tottenham then he will. Tottenham need Conte more than Conte needs Tottenham.
He has already proven his class to turn things around over the last six months but if PSG offer him the chance to return to the Champions League and coach Messi, Neymar and other superstars, would he turn them down? Probably not. Zinedine Zidane is a contender for the PSG and France jobs and it seems like he favors the latter, leaving the door open for Conte.
As for Pochettino to Tottenham, that is the trickier part.
Poch is loved by Spurs’ fans, the players and pretty much everyone connected with the club. Various reports say that Daniel Levy keeps in constant contact with Pochettino and there seemed to be a very real possibility in him returning to Spurs last summer after Jose Mourinho was fired and then again with Nuno Espirito Santo was fired in the fall.
If Pochettino is fired by PSG but is he the right man to lead Tottenham back to the Champions League and challenging for trophy? He would probably be the best manager available for Spurs this summer if Conte does decide to leave, so it would make sense. If you add in Pochettino’s history with the club, it starts to make sense.
Conte is Plan A for Spurs but Pochettino is a very good Plan B.