football

Nuno Espírito Santo’s Tottenham future in doubt after crisis talks with Levy


Nuno Espírito Santo’s future as Tottenham manager is in serious doubt after the chairman, Daniel Levy, and managing director, Fabio Paratici, held crisis talks after Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at home to Manchester United.

The deflating loss, in which Tottenham did not manage a shot on target, was marked by the home fans booing the manager’s substitutions and calling for Levy to go. It is understood that, despite Nuno signing a two-year contract on 1 July, the chairman and Paratici met on Sunday to discuss his future following a disappointing run of results that has left Spurs eighth in the Premier League.

The Porto manager, Sérgio Conceição, and his Portuguese compatriot Paulo Fonseca – who has been heavily linked to the vacant post at Newcastle – are believed to be among the potental replacements should Tottenham decide to sack Nuno, with talks understood to be ongoing.

Supporters booed the former Wolves manager after he substituted Lucas Moura for Steven Bergwijn on Saturday and Nuno was later subjected to more barracking from home fans as he conducted his media duties after the final whistle before they were moved on by stewards.

Asked if he had a message for supporters, Nuno responded: “What can we say? It’s the reality. When our fans don’t see what they expect, what they want, they are going to boo. We have to be strong and accept it, recognise that it’s not words that are going to take away the anger they are experiencing at this moment, only actions.”

Spurs have already endured heavy defeats by Chelsea, Arsenal and Crystal Palace and scored just nine goals in their 10 league games, with Harry Kane having found the net in the league only once since a summer in which he agitated for a move to Manchester City. They have gone two hours and 16 minutes without having a shot on target in defeats by West Ham and United. Nuno was appointed in June after Spurs tried and failed to land a number of other candidates for the manager’s role, including Antonio Conte and Gennaro Gattuso. He signed a two-year deal. José Mourinho had been sacked in April, with Ryan Mason being put in temporary charge and Spurs finishing the season in seventh place.

Nuno, who played for Mourinho at Porto, begun his Spurs tenure promisingly with a win against Manchester City but has seen his side’s form slide dramatically in recent weeks.

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