Tottenham step up Nuno Espírito Santo talks and target defender Jules Koundé

Tottenham have stepped up talks with Nuno Espírito Santo over their manager’s job in a move driven by Fabio Paratici, the managing director of football.

Paratici is an admirer of the former Wolves manager and a year ago, in his previous role at Juventus, he included Nuno on his shortlist of candidates to succeed Maurizio Sarri as head coach of the Serie A club. That job went to Andrea Pirlo, who lasted one season before being sacked last month.

Nuno was not under serious consideration by Spurs until the arrival of Paratici, whose appointment was confirmed just under a fortnight ago. Nuno left Wolves at the end of last season after four years and recently held advanced discussions with Crystal Palace and Everton.

Tottenham, who have seen their pursuit of a number of candidates come to nothing, have also sounded out the former Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde to gauge his interest.

The club want to sign at least one central defender and have included Sevilla’s Jules Koundé among their targets. The 22-year-old, part of France’s Euro 2020 squad, is expected to be sold for less than his €80m (£69m) release clause. Joachim Andersen, who spent last season on loan at Fulham from Lyon, is also on Tottenham’s list.

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