Spurs' South American quartet free to play: Nuno
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Tottenham could sensationally sack Nuno Espirito Santo on one condition without paying a penny thanks to the negotiating skills of chairman Daniel Levy, according to reports.
Levy and managing director of football Fabio Paratici ended a chaotic recruitment process to appoint Nuno in June. Spurs were close to appointing three different coaches before landing the former Wolves boss.
Antonio Conte allegedly turned down the North Londoners at the last minute. Talks with Paulo Fonseca and Gennaro Gattuso also broke down.
It was fourth time lucky when they finally confirmed Nuno as their new boss. The Portuguese started the campaign well, heading into the September international break top of the Premier League having won each of his first three matches.
But Spurs head into the October international break in contrasting form. Nuno’s side suffered three consecutive league defeats, a run in which they conceded three goals in each game.
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Saturday’s narrow 2-1 win over Aston Villa was a welcome respite but Spurs remained far from their best.
Speculation that Nuno’s tenure could be short has intensified in recent weeks, with many supporters unhappy at what they perceive to be a defensive style of football.
It has now emerged that Levy’s excellent negotiating skills could be beneficial if Nuno fails to deliver success.
According to The Athletic, Nuno has a break clause midway through his two-year deal that means Spurs terminate his stay without paying compensation.
However, they can only do that if the 47-year-old fails to finish in the top six this season.
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Jose Mourinho was dismissed in April when it became clear that Spurs might struggle to earn a top-six place. He was replaced by interim boss Ryan Mason who finished seventh.
The North Londoners finished sixth the year prior. They were fourth in 2018-19, the year in which Mauricio Pochettino guided them to the Champions League final.
Spurs are currently eighth in the Premier League having won four of their opening seven matches. Three defeats are evidence of the teething problems Nuno has faced in his first few months.
The former Valencia boss has several issues that he must address to make his side more consistent. One that is most pressing is that Harry Kane is yet to score a Premier League goal this season.
“There are so many problems we have to solve,” Nuno said last month when asked about Kane’s struggles.
“The momentum we had before the international break has gone, there is an absence of players, we have to improve our levels of performance, we concede too many goals from set-pieces and we cannot sustain our play for long periods of the game.
“We are all trying to improve our performance in terms of goals, consistency and all the other aspects in the game and have to work to find the best solutions inside the team, in all the players.
“Harry (Kane) is part of the team, like all of us.
“It’s all about the partnerships and the way we do things – everyone has to be involved.”
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