Antonio Conte lit the tinder under his own Tottenham future with his dramatic outburst at the weekend. But Daniel Levy is finding it remarkably hard already to get somebody else to swipe right.
Even an old flame like Mauricio Pochettino has no burning desire to fill a void which speaks volumes about the problems at Tottenham right now. He has continually batted his eyelids back towards Spurs since his surprise sacking just months after taking them to the Champions League final.
Sources close to him make no secret of his feeling that Tottenham is an unfinished chapter in his life - but maybe not one he wants to commit to finishing just yet. Pochettino feels he was led by his heart to PSG, where he had previously captained the side, and was left with a solid but unspectacular success hampered by limited powers.
This time he is determined to make a more reasoned decision about his next appointment and he is prepared to wait till the summer when a full range of alternatives may be on offer. Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Barcelona, even Chelsea could all have vacancies at the end of the season and Pochettino is quite prepared to ignore popular demand and wait to see if he can attract a better offer.
So it is no surprise that Thomas Tuchel and Luis Enrique, the other illustrious names out of work at the moment, are of a similar mind. With little prospect of an instant top-notch appointment, Levy may have to wait until summer to grab what he can from what is paraded on the lazy-susan of managerial fayre.
Ruben Amorim at Sporting has attracted admirers at Tottenham after disposing of Arsenal in the Europa League while Vincent Kompany is another with unfinished business for the moment. But Yaya Toure is already at the club to bring some of that Manchester City-winning mentality to White Hart Lane.
Thomas Frank at Brentford, Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi and Eintracht Frankfurt’s Oliver Glasner are others being mentioned. Levy’s problem is that as ill-advised as Conte’s words were, they are widely perceived as true.
An entire culture change has to be effected before a team which grew in promise under Pochettino the first time, can finally start to deliver. Levy has now spent £50m on managers who have failed to orchestrate this finishing school and perhaps he should have shown more patience with Pochettino to oversee the second phase of the project having delivered so spectacularly on the first.
But that may have to start with dismantling the remnants of what he built. Harry Kane is the first big conundrum a new Tottenham manager will run into.
There are few signs Levy will persuade the England captain to extend his current contract and the club must then sell him this summer or risk losing him for nothing in 12 months’ time. It is inevitable that Conte must now go, but who would have a burning desire to replace him?