LONDON: Tottenham’s long search for a new boss is finally over after they appointed Nuno Espirito Santo.
It has been 72 days since they sacked Jose Mourinho on April 19 and a long and – at times chaotic – recruitment process has followed.
But the former Wolves boss has now got the job, signing a two-year deal at the north London club.
Simultaneously Everton have appointed Rafa Benitez and Crystal Palace are poised to land Patrick Vieira.
Nuno left Molineux at the end of last season and stays in the Premier League after incoming football managing director Fabio Paratici persuaded chairman Daniel Levy to give him the job.
Levy had some misgivings about the Portuguese’s style of play at Wolves, having been so vocal about the need for a new manager to play “attacking” football, but is now convinced.
Levy said on the club’s official website: “First of all, I’d like to welcome Nuno to the club. We should like to thank our supporters for all their patience throughout this process.
“I’ve spoken already about the need to revert back to our core DNA of playing attacking, entertaining football and 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.”
Nuno will take the start of pre-season training on Monday, where players not involved in international football this summer will return to Hotspur Way.
“It’s an enormous pleasure and honour (to be here), 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.”
Paratici, who officially starts his job on Thursday after leaving Juventus in May, has been heavily involved in the recruitment process and put forward Nuno based on his achievements at Wolves and previously Valencia.
Paratici said: “The brief for this appointment has always been clear, we wanted a head coach that can instil all the values that are important to this football club.
“You only have to look at Nuno’s time at Wolves to see his ability to take a group of players and implement an adaptive style that brings success and allows players to develop and thrive.
“We are all looking forward to getting started in what we hope will be a successful time with the club.”
Elsewhere . . .
Everton have been without a manager since being taken by surprise in May by Carlo Ancelotti’s sudden return to LaLiga with Real Madrid.
Ancelotti had been popular with fans and players and regretted cutting short his stay on Merseyside. However all parties understood that the Madrid opportunity would be impossible to resist.
Owner Fahad Moshiri considered several candidates before realising that the answer was on his doorstep. Benitez, Champions League-winning manager of neighbours Liverpool between 2004 and 2010, maintained his family home on Merseyside and was available after having left China’s Dalian Professional in January.
Benitez, 61, has agreed a three-year contract. He will be only the second man to manager both Everton and Liverpool. His only predecessor was William Edward Barclay, who was one of the founders of Everton in the 1890s and later the breakaway Liverpool.
Everton’s pursuit of Benitez upset some fans who have never forgotten or forgiven him for once having described Liverpool’s arch-rivals as a “small club” after a goalless derby at Anfield in February 2007. Benitez has always insisted that he was criticising their defensive tactics that day, not the club itself.
Several critical posters have been hung outside Goodison Park and police are investigating a threatening banner reading: “We Know Where You Live – Don’t Sign.” In fact, the banner was left outside the wrong house.
Crystal Palace, having failed to land Lucien Favre, are expected to appoint Vieira as successor to Roy Hodgson who retired at the end of this past season. This would be a first senior management position in English football for Vieira who was sacked by French club Nice in December.
Vieira claimed seven major honours in nine years as a player at Arsenal between 1996-2005. He also helped Internazionale win three Italian Serie A titles then joined Manchester City in January 2010 and helped the club lift the FA Cup the following year before retiring. At international level he was a World Cup and European Championship winner with France.
He began his coaching career in the academy at Manchester City and then spent two and a half years in charge of the United States subsidiary New York City.