Who is Paulo Fonseca? Profile on Tottenham’s prime target for head coach job as talks begin

Tottenham look set to appoint former AS Roma boss Paulo Fonseca as their new head coach.

Daniel Levy has been looking for someone to fill the vacant position since Jose Mourinho‘s departure in April, and after rejection from Antonio Conte, he might just have found his man.

Football.london understands Fonseca has become the primary target of Tottenham’s, and specifically of new director of football Fabio Paratici.

Talks are ongoing between the two parties and bookmakers now have him odds on to become the next Tottenham boss, but who is he?

We have all you need to know about the man who could be in charge of Spurs come next season.

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Who is Paulo Fonseca?

Fonseca is a 48-year-old Portuguese coach born in Nampula, in the province of Mozambique, which is now its own country in South-East Africa.

He did have a playing career, but never managed a league appearance at FC Porto, going on to spend time with the lesser-known Leca, Belenenses and Maritimo among others.

He hung up his boots in 2005 after a five-year spell with Estrela Amadora.

His career so far

Fonseca began his coaching career immediately after retiring, taking over the youth side at his last team as a player, Estrela.

It took him some time to work his way up through the Portuguese game, having spells as a senior boss at Dezembro, Odivelas and Pinhalnovense before taking over Aves.

He then spent time at Pacos de Ferreira and guided the club to their first-ever Champions League qualification, an effort that got him the FC Porto job.

But he didn’t last a full season at Porto, and after a disappointing spell, he was sacked in the March, returning to Pacos de Ferreira in 2014 for another year.

Paulo Fonseca
Fonseca looks to be quite the character

He then took over Braga and managed a fourth-place finish, also winning the Taca de Portugal (national cup).

In 2016, he got his first job overseas, taking over Shakhtar Donetsk, whom he led to three successive Ukrainian Premier League titles, three successive Ukrainian Cups and a Ukrainian Super Cup.

Those excellent three years in Ukraine saw Fonseca snapped up by AS Roma where he would spend two years.

In his first season, he led Roma to a fifth-place finish, but he walked away at the end of this season having finished seventh and suffering a semi-final defeat to Manchester United in the Europa League.

He was succeeded by Mourinho.

What has Fonseca said?

Fonseca gave a final press conference ahead of his departure from Roma. Here is what he had to say on his time in Italy having already announced his departure.

“As I’ve said, it’s always been a great honour for me to be the coach here. The fans have always been so kind to me, we’ve had a great relationship.

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“The same goes for those I’ve worked with here at Trigoria. I will keep all that with me. It’s difficult to pick the best match of my time here, but I think a lot of people have recognised that the team have generally played a positive, attractive style of football and we did that in a number of games. But it is hard to pick just one.”

“Perhaps the most special thing I’ve built here is the relationship I have with you all [the journalists], with the fans, with those I work with here at Trigoria.”

“All of that is built on respect and honesty. Of course, the results are always important, but the relationships you build are too.”

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