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At Long Last, Tottenham's Hunt For A Manager Is Over

Two months and approximately 10 candidates later, Tottenham Hotspur's search for a manager is over.

Nuno Espirito Santo has signed a contract with Tottenham through 2023. The ex-Wolves manager left Wolverhampton following a 13th-place finish after four years in charge. Nuno guided Wolves to the Premier League as champions of the EFL Championship in the 2017-18 season, followed by a seventh-placed finish in the 2018-19 Premier League season. He oversaw the club's first qualification for the Europa League since 1981. In 2019-20 Wolves again finished seventh in the league and reached the Europa League quarterfinals.

It's a merciful end to the frankly embarrassing saga for Spurs supporters. Erik Ten Haag of Ajax was apparently approached to take over the top job before signing a new contract with the Dutch giants. It was also rumored earlier in June that former boss Mauricio Pochettino was interested in a return to Spurs, which many fans would have welcomed. That move, of course, never materialized. Former Inter boss Antonio Conte was next up to come close to accepting an offer from Spurs in what would have been quite the coup for the North Londoners. 

After that move broke down, Conte said:  “Generally, I like challenges and I’ve accepted many of them during my career. ... Even the top clubs I coached were never the favorites when I arrived. However, if there’s something that doesn’t convince me I prefer not to accept, regardless of the money.”

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, notoriously difficult to work with, then moved on to his next target; it looked as through Spurs and Roma would swap managers, with Jose Mourinho moving to the Eternal City and Paulo Fonseca close to joining Spurs. 

In what was just the next twist in the running joke that Levy's hunt for a manager turned into, Spurs apparently pulled the plug on any deal with Fonseca in the advanced stages of negotiations when Gennaro Gattuso became available following his departure from Fiorentina after only three weeks in charge. The running joke then evolved into a dumpster fire as talks with Gattuso were broken off as well, possibly in part due to anger from supporters over statements the Italian made in the past over racism in Italy and the role of women in the sport. 

Levy was apparently next rebuffed by Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui, as the Spanish club's president Jose Castro claimed the ex-Spain manager had rejected a "dizzying" offer from Spurs. 

Now, at long last Tottenham has got its man.

Nuno will inherit a chaotic situation — Spurs' first preseason friendly is in just over two weeks, and the future of Harry Kane still needs sorting out. It will not be an easy task for Nuno to find success with Spurs, and supporters may be a bit underwhelmed as the club was seemingly so close to appointing Antonio Conte. But Nuno took an underperforming Wolves side and turned them into a top-half team in the Premier League, difficulties of the 2020-21 season aside. If, and it is a big if, he gets the support he needs from Daniel Levy, it could prove a good appointment.

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