Tottenham announced on Sunday night that they had, as expected, parted ways with boss Antonio Conte after a spectacular outburst in which he criticised the club and the players after a 3-3 draw at struggling Southampton.
More surprisingly, however, Spurs have opted to place Conte’s assistant Cristian Stellini in charge until the end of the season with the support of coach Ryan Mason.
Stellini took charge of the team while Conte was away in Italy recovering from gallbladder surgery earlier this season, and faces a big task ahead to try and finish in the top four of the Premier League.
But looking longer term, who could be Spurs’ next permanent manager or head coach following Conte’s departure? Here are some of the names in the frame…
The obvious one: Julian NagelsmannEmbed from Getty Images
Julian Nagelsmann is currently the favourite to be the next Tottenham boss having recently been sacked as head coach of German giants Bayern Munich, to be replaced by former Chelsea man Thomas Tuchel.
According to Sky Sports and Sky Germany, Tottenham have made contact with Nagelsmann about the job already but he is also being linked with the Real Madrid role should Carlo Ancelotti depart.
Nagelsmann, still just 35, took the football world by storm when he took over at Hoffenheim at the age of just 28 at the start of his managerial career and went on to secure Champions League qualification with the club.
The German won the Bundesliga with Bayern last season but was sacked recently with the club one point behind rivals Borussia Dortmund in the league table. He would certainly represent a different approach to recent appointments of Jose Mourinho, Nuno Espirito Santo and Conte, given his brand of high intensity, progressive football.
The returning one: Mauricio PochettinoEmbed from Getty Images
He’s magic, you know? Mauricio Pochettino is currently out of work with his last job coming at Paris St Germain.
Pochettino spent five years at Spurs, reaching the Champions League final in 2019 which his side would lose to Liverpool. They were in the race for the Premier League title in the 2015-16 season before a dramatic 2-2 draw at Chelsea crowned Leicester City title winners and they would eventually lose out as runners-up to rivals Arsenal.
But the Argentinian inherits a different team to the one he left. Some of the same players may still be there, such as Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Hugo Lloris, but the squad is lacking the level of talent and ability he had when he led his team to the Champions League final.
As someone who knows the club and who the fans still adore to this day, he could be the answer to getting Spurs back on track, but might risk tainting his legacy if it does not work out.
The big name: Luis EnriqueEmbed from Getty Images
Both Nagelsmann and Pochettino are of course big names, but just as big is Luis Enrique. The Spaniard is also out of work having last managed his country, stepping down following a disappointing World Cup in Qatar last year.
But the 52-year-old is renowned around the world for his coaching abilities, having won two league titles, three Copa del Reys, a Champions League and more with Barcelona during his time managing the club.
Spurs have not won a trophy since 2008 and are desperate to win silverware soon, something Enrique has plenty of experience doing albeit with a superior squad to the one he would take over at Spurs.
But his disappointing spells in charge of Roma and Spain may place some doubt into the minds of the decision makers at Spurs. He is by no means a safe bet.
The employed one: Oliver GlasnerEmbed from Getty Images
Unlike the other three, Oliver Glasner may be trickier to agree a deal with given he already has a job at Eintracht Frankfurt.
Glasner endured an up and down first season at the club, finishing 11th in the Bundesliga table at the end of the last campaign. But he enjoyed more success in Europe, winning the Europa League by beating Rangers in the final having also triumphed over Barcelona and West Ham on the way there.
He might not be the top choice, but there is a lot to like about Glasner and the job he has done at Frankfurt. He also guided Wolfsburg to Champions League qualification in his previous role.
The outsidersEmbed from Getty Images
There are many more options for Spurs outside the names who have more heavily been linked with the job at this stage.
Stellini and Mason cannot be ruled out completely. Should they do well enough, it’s possible that one of them could be given the job on a permanent basis.
Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi is also an intriguing option. He has impressed in his short spell at the club after the departure of Graham Potter and has them fighting for Europe.
Another Premier League manager who has impressed of late is Brentford’s Thomas Frank. He also has his team unexpectedly fighting for Europe and has done a fantastic job at the club.
Sporting Lisbon’s Ruben Amorim has also been mentioned, having caught the eye with some of his side’s performances in European competitions.
And Vincent Kompany’s impressive stint at Burnley so far has also seen him touted by some for the job, though it would be a big step up from the Championship.
Other names range from the more high profile such as Zinedine Zidane and Massimiliano Allegri to the more modest, like Steve Cooper, Marco Silva, Michael Carrick and Ange Postecoglu. It’s safe to say it would be a big surprise to see Spurs go for any of these names, but not completely out of the question.