Tottenham confirm Ryan Mason as interim head coach with Julian Nagelsmann targeted as Jose Mourinho successor

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Dan Kilpatrick
·3-min read
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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Ryan Mason will lead boyhood club Tottenham out at Wembley on Sunday after being named interim head coach until the end of the season following Jose Mourinho's sacking.

Spurs have identified RB Leipzig's Julian Nagelsmann as first choice to replace Mourinho long-term, although may face competition for the highly-rated 33-year-old from Bayern Munich.

Mason, 29, oversaw first-team training on Monday and was on Tuesday morning confirmed as boss for the six remaining League matches of the season and Sunday's Carabao Cup Final against Manchester City.

Tottenham’s former midfielder, who was forced to retire aged 26 after suffering a horrific fractured skull while playing for Hull and was previously the academy's head of player development, will be assisted by experienced pair Chris Powell, 51, and Nigel Gibbs, 55, who have been named assistant interim head coaches.

Powell, who is also part of Gareth Southgate's England set-up, joined the academy in the summer, replacing Gibbs.

Club legend Ledley King will remain in his role as first-team assistant having been promoted to Mourinho's staff last summer, while Michel Vorm, a popular figure in Mauricio Pochettino's dressing room, returns to the club again as interim goalkeeper coach.

Announcing the appointments, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy expressed belief in a squad which had faced a steady trickle of public criticism from Mourinho before he was dismissed on Monday morning.

“We have great belief in this squad of talented players," Levy said. "We have a cup final and six Premier League games ahead of us and we shall now focus all our energies on achieving a strong finish to the season.”

Ryan Mason will serve as Tottenham’s interim head coachGetty Images
Ryan Mason will serve as Tottenham’s interim head coachGetty Images

Nagelsmann is Levy's leading choice as a long-term successor to Mourinho and the chairman is believed to have acted now to steal a march on European champions Bayern, whose coach Hansi Flick is leaving at the end of the season.

Nagelsmann is thought to be interested in managing in the Premier League, while Leipzig would be more open to negotiating with Tottenham than their Bundesliga rivals.

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers is also admired by Levy but would be an expensive hire and likely reluctant to work under the constraints at Spurs, which include deciding transfers by committee with Levy and recruitment chief Steve Hitchen.

Levy has previously coveted Rafael Benitez, who is out of work after leaving Chinese club Dalian Professional, but is not thought to be pursuing the Spaniard or former Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri, despite reports in Italy that he has been approached for the vacant role.

Julian Nagelsmann is Daniel Levy’s top choice to succeed Jose MourinhoPOOL/AFP via Getty Images
Julian Nagelsmann is Daniel Levy’s top choice to succeed Jose MourinhoPOOL/AFP via Getty Images

England manager Southgate and his Belgium counterpart Roberto Martinez have also been linked to the job but would be tied down until after this summer's European Championship.

Mason is due to face a difficult maiden press conference via Zoom ahead of Wednesday’s League visit of Southampton, with Spurs one of the clubs facing a barrage of condemnation for signing up to the European Super League.

Harry Kane did not train on Monday and Mason is expected to issue an update on the striker's ankle injury, sustained at Everton on Friday night, ahead of their first domestic final since 2015.

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