Gossip: Chelsea 'target Pochettino to replace Conte', Arteta 'closes in on Arsenal job', Silva 'set for Everton'

Transfer gossip: Could Chelsea be about to swoop for Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino?
Transfer gossip: Could Chelsea be about to swoop for Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino?

Daniel Levy has always been a difficult man to warm to. Aloof, stubborn, miserly, a Spurs fan. But given the choice between him and Roman Abramovich, which one would you invite to your barbecue?

Tough one, isn’t it? Neither would be the life and soul of the party. Levy standing behind a bush staring at his shoes; Abramovich bringing his own cuts of Wagyu steak and not eating anything else – they’d both be a repressive presence, for sure.

Thankfully it’s not a choice most of us will ever have to make. Thankfully, we’re not Mauricio Pochettino.

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The Sun reports that the Tottenham manager will be handed the opportunity to swap Levy for Abramovich this summer and replace Antonio Conte as manager of Chelsea.

The Argentine has apparently been “at loggerheads” with Levy over transfer funds and is “aware” that Abramovich wants to bring him to Stamford Bridge.

The Russian would give Poch a lot more spending money than Levy ever did, but then he’s also more likely to sack him. Plus, he’d be stuck with the same problem of old working for an absolute (insert unflattering word of your choice here).

As for Conte, he is “expected to be fired” after Saturday’s FA Cup final against Manchester United. Great preparation for the Blues’ biggest game of the season then.

Arteta and Vieira leading candidates for Arsenal job

Chelsea’s fellow Europa League qualifiers Arsenal are also edging closer to a managerial change, with former Gunners captain Mikel Arteta emerging as the “preferred candidate” to replace Arsene Wenger.

The Telegraph says chief executive Ivan Gazidis and influential director Josh Kroenke have identified the Spaniard and another former club captain, Patrick Vieira, as their two top choices for the role. Sadly there is no mention of ex-skipper Tony Adams.

Everton are also set to switch gaffers, with the Mirror predicting that “Big” Sam Allardyce will be sacked “within 48 hours” and replaced with Marco Silva. The Toffees board have reportedly held talks with “a string of candidates” but the former Watford boss is their “number one pick”.

It would be the fifth time in three years that Allardyce has lost – or left – his job, but he can console himself with picking up yet another multi-million pound survival bonus.

David Moyes will also get one of those for keeping West Ham in the Premier League, but that might be all he gets. The Mail says the Hammers “held talks” with Shakhtar Donetsk coach Paulo Fonseca just one day after Moyes’ short-term contract expired.

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The Portuguese allegedly met Irons chairman David Sullivan at his Essex mansion on Monday evening, so hopefully that experience didn’t put him off too much.

Elsewhere, in gossip that isn’t about managers, Man Utd are ready to meet the £44m release clause of Napoli’s Albanian left-back Elseid Hysaj (Sun), Real Madrid are set to make a fresh move for Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who has just a year left on his contract (Mirror) and West Brom captain Jonny Evans pulled out of the Baggies’ last game of the season “by text message” (Express and Star). A surprisingly poor attitude from a man who got drunk and stole a taxi while the club were fighting relegation.