Nuno Santo is thought to be one of the front-runners for Tottenham Hotspur’s vacant managerial role as their search rumbles on into a third month.
According to talkSPORT, the 47-year-old is now being targeted by their new director of football Fabio Paratici following collapsed moves for Paulo Fonseca and Gennaro Gattuso last week and he could be the man who Daniel Levy decides to hire.
The Portuguese left Wolves by mutual consent at the end of the 2020/21 season, having earned them promotion to the Premier League and then qualification to the Europa League in their first season back in the big time.
A three-man defence was Nuno’s go-to system at Molineux, something that Paratici is thought to also prefer and it is a formation that could quite easily be replicated in North London due to the personnel he’d inherit.
So how exactly could Spurs line up on the opening day against Manchester City under Nuno following a summer of transfer business? Football FanCast takes a look…
We’ll begin with players already at the club and there’s one the Portuguese will know more than anyone else – Matt Doherty.
His future was thought to be under threat if Mourinho remained this summer but he could be one player to hugely benefit from this appointment. And in Sergio Reguilon, Nuno would be getting two solid options for the wing-back role.
One big dilemma would be in midfield, where there’s just two places up for grabs. It’s likely that Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who started every league game last term, and Tanguy Ndombele get the nod, especially as the futures of Harry Winks, Dele Alli and Moussa Sissoko are in doubt. It would not be surprising to see one or all moved on.
It’s believed that Heung-min Son is close to signing a new long-term deal at the club in what will be a major boost for any new manager, whilst reports suggest that Harry Kane, despite his desire to leave, is going nowhere this summer.
Now onto where there could be new names. It’s been widely reported that Spurs are eyeing defensive reinforcements in this window, with ideally two new central defenders coming through the door.
And there are two candidates that could slot right in.
Fulham loan star Joachim Andersen is one that Spurs are thought to be very keen on, he’ll cost around £25m after an impressive season in the Premier League, whilst Paratici could use his Italian links to lure Nikola Milenkovic away from Fiorentina, who has also been linked to Spurs in recent months.
Described as a “beast” and likened to Nemanja Vidic, the 23-year-old Serbian international – who is valued at €30m (£27m) – may join the experienced Toby Alderweireld in the backline, with club captain Hugo Lloris remaining between the sticks.
There’s no place for either Eric Dier or Davinson Sanchez.
One final addition could be seen at right-wing.
The futures of Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura in N17 are also under threat, so there could be a spot available and after his dazzling displays at Euro 2020, Spurs would be crazy to not give Nuno another Pedro Neto-like talent in Mikkel Damsgaard, who is only expected to cost around €20m (£18m).