Tottenham are considering potential replacements for manager Mauricio Pochettino as they begin to prepare for their manager’s departure, according to reports.
Pochettino’s future at White Hart Lane is in doubt following the team’s poor start to the season, with Spurs currently 14th in the Premier League and just six points above the bottom three.
It appears tension remains between the boss and the club board over their transfer policy, with reports claiming they missed out on a number of the coach’s targets over the summer as he sought to strengthen his squad and prepare for the exit of several key players.
There have also been plenty of rumours about Pochettino possibly moving to another club, having hinted at a possible exit himself after taking Tottenham to last season’s Champions League final.
And now, according to The Times, there is a growing belief at Spurs that it’s a question of when and not if he will leave, with a summer departure looking more and more likely.
The paper also report club officials have been on the lookout for a potential replacement, and 32-year-old RB Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann has emerged as a target.
Nagelsmann left Hoffenheim – where he was appointed at 28 to become the youngest ever Bundesliga boss – to take over at Leipzig in June and has led them to second place in the Bundesliga, behind surprise leaders Borussia Monchengladbach. His contract runs until 2023 and Manchester United are also admirers.
Spurs are also said to be keen on Brendan Rodgers, the Leicester City manager who reportedly declined their offer to replace Harry Redknapp in 2012.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail claim Bournemouth coach Eddie Howe and Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti are also on the north London club’s shortlist.
However, with all three of those targets currently in jobs it means Spurs would have to pay significant compensation to land them.
Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid have all indicated an admiration for Pochettino in the past and are all possible next destinations for the Argentine, who maybe feels he has taken Tottenham as far as he can.
Ray Parlour’s verdict
“I’d be amazed if Spurs let a manager of Poch’s calibre go, because you have to replace him and it is a gamble who you replace him with.
“I’m surprised they haven’t backed him, I really am. They got to the Champions League final and it was an amazing season for Spurs last year, they should be trying to kick on and move closer to Liverpool and Man City.
“I know a few players will be leaving, but they’ve got to get players in with the quality to keep them up there.
“It looks like there’s a real fall-out somewhere, I don’t know if it’s the board or the players who have really lost interest in Pochettino, I don’t know, but at the moment they’re not doing it on the pitch.
“You’ve got to have a bit of pride and play for yourself and the fans when you put the shirt on.
“They’ve got a quality team and everybody’s fit. You don’t just become a bad team over night, not after getting to the Champions League final!”