Tottenham Hotspur are in talks with Paulo Fonseca, a manager reportedly offered to Celtic in early May.
Fonseca, the former boss at Shakhtar Donetsk, is verging on replacing José Mourinho in north London [Guardian]. Prior to the collapse of Eddie Howe’s move to Celtic, and the emergence of Ange Postecoglou as a favourite, Fonseca had been mentioned in reports. Duncan Castles, of the Transfer Window podcast, claimed that the ex-Roma manager had been “offered” to Spurs and Celtic by his agent.
Interestingly, it appears Roma and Tottenham are essentially swapping managers. José Mourinho joined the Italian giants on the 4th of May [AS Roma].
While it didn’t quite work out for Fonseca at Roma this season, he is a manager held in high esteem. His high-intensity, attacking brand of football is worlds away from Mourinho’s pragmatism. At Shakhtar Donetsk, he helped to bring some exciting talents into the first-team, making stars of Fred, Bernard and Taison.
Earlier, he took the unheralded Pacos de Ferreira to the Champions League, and in his second spell there, beat his former side Porto in the Taca de Portugal. It was their first trophy in 50 years [Outside of the Boot].
Manager merry-go-round: have Celtic missed out on Paulo Fonseca, here?
While all the momentum is with Ange Postecoglou, Fonseca could’ve been an interesting hire from Celtic’s perspective. A chastening season in Rome aside, his reputation is well-established.
Winning three league and cup doubles with Shakhtar is nothing to be sniffed at, while he continued the club’s status as perennial Champions League entrants. Not just that; in 17-18 he took the Ukrainian side to the tournament’s last 16 [UEFA].
That’s valuable experience. From Celtic’s point of view, Fonseca is a manager who can perform to expectations. At a club as dominant domestically as Shakhtar, you’re expected to win everything; box ticked. Expected to qualify for the Champions League, and hold your own; he did that, too.
Now it looks as if Spurs are in the driver’s seat, with Celtic keen on Greek-Australian boss Ange Postecoglou. If the plans of both clubs go as planned, it’ll be worth keeping an eye on Spurs next season.
Under Fonseca, they’ll be a very different beast to Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur. Expect free-flowing, fast football, with some thrills and spills along the way.