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Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy hopes to have a replacement for Jose Mourinho officially secured before the end of the season, giving himself a three-week window to name the Portuguese’s successor.
Spurs are thought to have pencilled in a meeting with Ajax’s Erik ten Hag, who is emerging as one of the frontrunners for the job with Julian Nagelsmann headed for Bayern Munich.
The RB Leipzig head coach had been admired by Spurs but the 33-year-old is instead taking over at the Bundesliga champions once the season ends.
While Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers has also ruled himself out of the running by making public how happy he is with the Foxes, on course to finish third in the Premier League this term.
That has led Spurs towards alternative options and they have been in contact with Ten Hag’s representatives to set up an interview in the coming weeks.
Fabrizio Romano tweeted on Wednesday night: “Tottenham have scheduled a ‘direct meeting’ with Erik ten Hag.
“He’s among the candidates to become the new Spurs manager – ten Hag is open to leave Ajax in the summer. Nothing decided yet.”
But football.london say that the Dutchman will be one of several managers whom Spurs speak to before the process is concluded.
Brighton boss Graham Potter is another who is liked by the Spurs hierarchy as is Belgium manager Roberto Martinez, who had a three-year spell with Everton.
It remains to be seen if Spurs contact either of the pair or even former Juventus tactician Massimiliano Allegri, who is a free agent.
But regardless, Levy wants the new man in place before the end of the current campaign, although Ryan Mason will see out the season on the touchline.
The interim head coach guided Spurs to a 2-1 win over Southampton in the Premier League but could not help them to Carabao Cup glory at Wembley.
Tottenham fell 1-0 to Manchester City, who won their fourth successive League Cup, last Sunday thanks to Aymeric Laporte’s header eight minutes from time at England’s national stadium.
Mason will not get the gig on a full-time basis and Spurs want the new long-term manager to be appointed before Spurs’ squad head off to international training ahead of the Euros.
The Londoners end their season against Leicester at the King Power Stadium on May 23, by which time their hopes of a top-four finish are likely to have been extinguished.
Despite having the league’s top goalscorer in 21-goal Harry Kane up top, Spurs sit seventh and five points off of fourth-placed Chelsea with five games to go.
And the new manager is likely to have to steer Spurs’ revival while dealing with Europa League football or even Europa Conference League football next term.
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Levy hopes that getting a new boss in before pre-season will also help them to oversee the club’s transfer business with a potentially busy summer ahead.
Spurs are thought to want a manager with a similar profile to Mauricio Pochettino, the Paris Saint-Germain coach sacked by Levy in November 2019.
Football.london say Levy wants a progressive, attack-minded new man who favours possession-based football and is a good fit for the club’s culture.
Spurs have no preference in regards to how old their next manager is however, though the managers that appear their most likely targets are all in the same age range, with Ten Hag 51, Martinez 47 and Potter 45.
Mason will be in the dugout this Sunday with Spurs facing a winnable fixture against already-relegated Sheffield United at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The Blades did pick up their fifth win of the season last time out though by beating Potter’s Brighton 1-0 on home soil.
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