Where next for Paulo Fonseca? Clubs circling as Lille deal runs down

Paulo Fonseca’s contract with Lille expires in the summer and there is likely to be no shortage of interest in the Portuguese coach from Ligue 1 and beyond.

The prospect of an extension with Les Dogues has not been ruled out, but after two seasons in the north of France there is a sense Fonseca may have achieved all that is realistically possible at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

Fonseca arrived at Lille in the summer of 2022 after the team had finished in 10th place, while financial problems dictated the sale of many key members of the team. Despite the financial disadvantages, as well as some bad luck with injuries, Fonseca guided his new club to a 5th place finish in Ligue 1.

The former Porto man is hoping to go one better this term, with Lille currently in 4th and occupying the Champions League qualifiers slot. Fonseca has also implemented an attractive modern style of play, as well as developing young players such as Lenny Yoro, the 18-year-old centre-back who is expected to join one of Europe’s biggest clubs.

According to L’Equipe, rivals Marseille and Lyon are both following Fonseca ahead of the summer. The 51-year-old also has admirers in England, where West Ham United and Everton are believed to be long-term suitors for a manager already equipped with experience in Ukraine with Shakhtar Donetsk and Italy with Roma.

As well as their top 4 aspirations in France, Lille remain in contention for the Europa Conference League, where they will meet tournament favourites Aston Villa across two legs next month.

By @SeanGillen9