Devil’s advocate: If Andre Villas-Boas left Tottenham Hotspur, who would replace him?

Roberto Mancini

Tottenham Hotspur will be doing everything they can to keep the Portuguese manager this summer, but if PSG were able to prise him away, who would they bring in to replace him?

Although Tottenham Hotspur fans will have been looking forward to the transfer window this summer, with several areas in the squad that need addressing and the near certainty of a new striker finally arriving at White Hart Lane, the next few months are likely to bring more worry than joy, with both Gareth Bale and Andre Villas-Boas linked with departures.

Villas-Boas is apparently PSG’s top target to replace Carlo Ancelotti, and although he has given no indication he wants to leave, indeed near the end of last season he mentioned how keen he was to start a second season at a club for the first time, it is not difficult to see the temptations the Ligue 1 champions hold.

Champions League football and the budget to sign almost any player he wants, perhaps even including Bale, are a winning combination, and there is no doubt that Villas-Boas himself would receive a hefty pay rise.

Even more worrying for Spurs are the reports that Villas-Boas has a £10million release fee in his contract, meaning PSG would be able to bypass any negotiations with the club if they convinced the Portuguese manager to join.

If he did leave, Spurs would need to act quickly to replace Villas-Boas, but there are a limited amount of attractive options available this summer.

One man Spurs could target is Swansea City’s Michael Laudrup, who is another manager apparently on PSG’s wish list this summer. The Dane did a tremendous job in his debut season in the Premier League, and has caught the eye of several top sides around Europe as a result. So far Laudrup has indicated he wants to stay at Swansea, but Villas-Boas’ departure would be a clear signal that anything can happen in the transfer window.

With Franco Baldini to be appointed as technical director at White Hart Lane, the Italian might have some say about a new manager if Villas-Boas left. That could see links with not only Fabio Capello, who is unlikely to leave Russia well set for World Cup qualification, but also Roberto Mancini, who recently left Manchester City.

Mancini did win an FA Cup and a Premier League with City, and has a good record elsewhere around Europe, but would likely be too expensive for Spurs, and there are question marks over his temperament that might see them unwilling to splash out.

After a very encouraging first season, Spurs are no doubt keen to keep Villas-Boas, and given the lack of options elsewhere, they will be all the more desperate to convince the Portuguese manager to spurn PSG’s advances this summer, and that might mean showing early ambition themselves in the transfer market.

image: © andybrannan

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