Antonio Conte is unlikely to be spared the sack despite insisting his comments criticising Tottenham were not aimed at chairman Daniel Levy.
The Italian’s future was already the matter of intense speculation prior to the meltdown that followed Saturday’s 3-3 draw at Southampton.
Conte’s side looked well on course to secure three points that would have cemented their top four position when they led 3-1 with 15 minutes remaining.
Two goals in the closing stages, including a contentious injury-time penalty, saw the relegation-threatened Saints claim a valuable draw and the late capitulation effectively represented the straw that broke the camel’s back for Conte.
The former Chelsea and Inter manager tore into his players during an extraordinary post-match press conference during which he questioned their desire and ability to handle pressure.
Conte also appeared to take a swipe at Levy by referencing the club’s failure to win major silverware over the course of his stewardship.
The Telegraph, however, reports that Conte bears no ill-will towards Levy and told him as much during showdown talks, insisting his diatribe was aimed squarely at the players who have laboured over the course of the past month, crashing out of both the FA Cup and Champions League.
Regardless, Conte, whose contract is up in the summer, is expected to be dismissed during the international break and was seen boarding a Ryan Air flight back to Italy on Monday.
Spurs are already understood to be drawing up a list of potential replacements with former manager, Mauricio Pochettino, in contention to make what would be a popular and emotional return.
Former Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov has urged caution over Pochettino’s potential homecoming, however, insisting reappointing the Argentine who led the north London club the Champions League final just four years ago, would be no guarantee of success.
He told Betfred: ‘Who I want to be the next Tottenham manager is a question I’ve been asked many times before. There have been many good managers who’ve come to Tottenham and not been able to deliver.
‘That’s a fact. The club will be thinking about what else they can do and how often they will have to keep changing their managers. What is the winning formula here? They have everything at their disposal. They have a great stadium, a magnificent training ground and good players, but nothing is happening.
‘I can’t provide the name of a manager that I believe could replace Antonio Conte and be a success. I’ve read that people are tipping up the prospect of Mauricio Pochettino coming back but we all know from previous experiences that players and managers returning to their former clubs doesn’t always work and it’s not always the winning formula.
‘I’m pretty sure they’re good managers on the market who would enjoy the challenge and the manager’s job at Tottenham is a big challenge.’
MORE : Tottenham urged to appoint Vincent Kompany as Daniel Levy decides to sack Antonio Conte this week
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