Tottenham Hostpur sporting director Fabio Paratici has recently been reported to have opened new contract talks with Antonio Conte, in a bid to keep the 53-year-old in north London beyond the expiration date of his current deal next summer.
However, while Spurs do hold an option to extend Conte’s stay at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for a further year, with the Italian being heavily linked with a move back to Juventus in recent weeks, a report from Spain has suggested that Paratici is already drawing up a list of potential replacements for the famously flighty coach.
And, one of the names believed to be on the sporting director’s list will not only be extremely familiar to Tottenham supporters – having come up against Spurs just five days ago – but would also appear to be something of a dream heir to Conte’s throne in north London – that of Sporting Lisbon manager, Rúben Amorim.
Since joining the Portuguese side from SC Braga back in March of 2020, the 37-year-old has enjoyed a rather remarkable rise in reputation, something that is no doubt down to Sporting’s domestic and European success, as well as their incredibly attractive and attacking brand of football.
Indeed, in his first full season in charge of the Leões in 2020/21, the tactician masterminded the club’s first Liga Portugal title win in almost 20 years, with Sporting winning 26, drawing seven and losing just one of their 34 league fixtures that season, picking up a whopping 85 points in the process – finishing five points ahead of historic rivals FC Porto.
And, although the Leões would miss out on the league title in 2021/22 – finishing six points behind the Dragões in second place – the 37-year-old’s second season at the Estádio José Alvalade was arguably even more impressive than his first, with Sporting again winning the Allianz Cup, as well as shocking the footballing world by reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
However, it is not only results that have been eye-catching under Amorim, but also the club’s style of football, with the former Benfica player setting his side up in a 3-4-3 formation that relies heavily on its wing-backs in order to create attacking overloads.
This has clearly been extremely successful, with Sporting boasting a record of 233 goals scored in just 123 games played under the 37-year-old, while also shipping a mere 107 and picking up a simply sensational average of 2.21 points per game.
As such, while Amorim’s reported €30m (£26m) release clause would be a hefty price to pay for Spurs, considering his extremely similar – yet more attacking – tactical set-up to Conte, in addition to the Portuguese coach having something of a habit for ending trophy droughts, the argument that the manager who John Townley dubbed a “very exciting prospect” would be a dream heir for the 53-year-old Italian in north London is an easy one to make.