Nuno Espirito Santo

Tottenham can reportedly sack boss Nuno Espirito Santo in the summer without having to pay any compensation if he does not lead them to a top-six finish in the Premier League.

The Portuguese saw the pressure on him eased with Spurs’ 2-1 victory against Aston Villa on Sunday, which came after a run of three straight top-flight defeats including a damaging north London derby reverse at Arsenal.

Spurs therefore head into the international break in eighth, just four points behind leaders Chelsea, but The Athletic claim even if the season does not go to plan, the club have a clause in their manager’s contract which benefits them.

The outlet reports if Nuno fails to help secure European football next season, Spurs can part ways with the former Wolves boss halfway through his two-year contract without having to pay him off.

It is unclear however whether another year in the Europa Conference League would be sufficient to save Nuno’s job, given that it does not require a finish in the top six but would still see Spurs partake in European competition next term.

Chairman Daniel Levy is believed to have negotiated the agreement in the summer, but a Tottenham spokesperson however denied the existence of the clause in Nuno’s contract.

Nuno, 47, was not the club’s first-choice to be named as Jose Mourinho’s permanent successor following Ryan Mason’s interim stint at the end of last season.

The Portuguese however appeared to have Spurs ticking by securing wins against Manchester City, Wolves and Watford to take them top of the league before the first international break of the season.

But things quickly turned sour as they lost three London derbies in a row against Crystal Palace, Chelsea and Arsenal, in which they shipped nine goals altogether.

But wins against Slovenian outfit Mura in the Conference League and the victory against Dean Smith’s Villa at the weekend relieved some of the pressure on the under-fire boss and his players.

Asked about if he was delighted that his side restored their lead four minutes after being pegged back by Villa, Nuno said: ‘Definitely. Yes, it’s [reacting to conceding] something we’ve improved from previous games. The reaction was really, really good.

‘Definitely a better reaction. Much better. Previously we became a little bit flat and today was immediately reacting.

‘After that moment we continued to create chances and I honestly believe there were more goals there for us today, but the production and the way we produced, the way we created was much, much better.’

But Nuno will be hoping he can build on that win to ensure the clause does not need to be activated this summer, having been eager to take on the challenge in the first place.


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