Tottenham Hotspur sensationally sacked Jose Mourinho earlier in the week and their pursuit for a new manager will rumble on until the summer, with 29-year-old former Spurs midfielder Ryan Mason in interim control.
Several names have already emerged as candidates for Mourinho’s successor, but it appears that RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann is Daniel Levy’s top target, as revealed by The Telegraph.
Further developments have since surfaced suggesting that the Spurs chairman is considering a vast shake-up off the pitch, with him mulling over the prospect of bringing in a sporting director.
Spurs have not had someone in that role since Franco Baldini left in 2015 as the bulk of the key decisions behind the scenes have been left to Levy and chief scout Steve Hitchen. This move would see the north London outfit look to replicate the typically ‘German’ model – a significant structural change but one which could suit any move for Nagelsmann.
Interestingly, The Athletic listed RB Leipzig’s former sporting director Ralf Rangnick as a man in contention to take over from Mourinho, but what if he were considered for the aforementioned role on top of clinching the 33-year-old manager?
It’s a role he most recently held in north-east Germany.
Rangnick is best known for a successful spell in management in Germany during the 2000s but he has played an integral part in Leipzig’s astronomical rise from nothing. It’s because of him that Nagelsmann has been able to get them challenging Bayern Munich for the Bundesliga crown.
He’s widely considered to be one of the pioneers of the ‘gegenpress’ system, something we’ve seen Jurgen Klopp and now Thomas Tuchel bring to the Premier League, whilst Pep Guardiola’s tiki-taka mantra doesn’t fall too far from the same tactical tree.
Nicknamed the “football professor,” Rangnick championed the ‘eight-second rule’ whereby it is thought that most goals are scored in that time frame after winning possession back – also known as a counterattack.
Even more interestingly, during his stint at Leipzig, he made sure the club did not sign anyone under the age of 23, and that’s how he unearthed the likes of Naby Keita, Timo Werner, Marcel Sabitzer, Dayot Upamecano and many, many more.
When talking about the success of RB Leipzig, Guido Schafer, chief reporter at the Leipziger Volkszeitung, heaped praise on the 62-year-old talent-spotter. He told BBC: “Rangnick is the architect. He is a great man, he did all of this.”
Nagelsmann is one of Rangnick’s proteges, so a lot of his emergence has to be attributed to him too, and you can expect a lot more of that high-press, high-intensity football if he were to arrive at Spurs.
Levy could genuinely transform the club if he ensures that the pair come together – it worked at Leipzig, the very side who walloped Spurs out of the Champions League last season. It would be a bold double swoop, but one which would be a landmark for everyone in N17.
The protege and the professor. It’s a match made in heaven.
AND in other news, Spurs given fresh boost in Julian Nagelsmann pursuit