Tottenham Hotspur have named Nuno Espirito Santo as their new manager, the Premier League club said on Wednesday.
ESPN’s James Olley had previously reported on Espirito Santo’s discussions to take over at the north London club.
Espirito Santo left Wolverhampton Wanderers after four seasons where they achieved promotion to the Premier League in 2018 after a six-year absence and retained their status as a top flight side over three seasons. He previously also managed Valencia and FC Porto.
“When you have a squad with quality and talent, we want to make the fans proud and enjoy,” he said in a statement on the Tottenham website.
“It’s an enormous pleasure and honour, there’s joy and I’m happy and looking forward to starting work. We don’t have any days to lose and we must start working immediately as pre-season starts in a few days.”
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) June 30, 2021
Espirito Santo’s appointment comes after Tottenham hired Fabio Paratici as their new director of football earlier this month. The 48-year-old was previously the chief football officer at Juventus for 11 years.
Espirito Santo, 47, was close to taking over at Crystal Palace before talks collapsed and became the latest recommendation by Paratici, who is believed to have a good relationship with Nuno’s agent, Jorge Mendes.
“I’ve spoken already about the need to revert back to our core DNA of playing attacking, entertaining football,” Spurs chairman Daniel Levy said. “Fabio and I believe Nuno is the man who can take our talented group of players, embrace our young players coming through and build something special.”
Espirito Santo’s appointment to take over the north London club ends what had become a convoluted and troubled search to succeed Jose Mourinho following his sacking in April. Among the candidates linked to Spurs the last several months had been Antonio Conte, Gennaro Gattuso, Paulo Fonseca, Brendan Rodgers, Julian Nagelsmann, and Erik ten Hag.
Spurs appointed 29-year-old coach Ryan Mason as interim boss until the end of the season after Mourinho’s ouster and the club began drawing up a list of candidates.
Rodgers has a contract until 2025 and showed no interest in leaving Leicester City while Nagelsmann opted to leave RB Leipzig for Bayern Munich, leaving Spurs to sound out former boss Mauricio Pochettino over whether he would be tempted to rejoin the club from Paris Saint-Germain.
However, sources told ESPN that Pochettino never asked to leave the Ligue 1 club, who in any case exercised an option to extend his contract by a further year to 2023.
Ten Hag has also extended his deal to stay at Ajax Amsterdam amid interest from Spurs.
Discussions with early front-runner Conte — fresh off of winning the Serie A title with Internazionale — failed to deliver any progress, prompting the club to enter into discussions with other candidates.
Spurs got as close as drafting a contract for ex-AS Roma manager Fonseca — two years with an option for a further 12 months — before pulling out at the 11th hour and turning their attentions to Gennaro Gattuso after he surprisingly left Fiorentina. However, a backlash among supporters to Gattuso’s possible appointment led to Spurs starting again in their search.
Tottenham begin their new league campaign at home to champions Manchester City on Aug. 15.