Frank de Boer: Tottenham Hotspur's hopes of hiring Ajax's De Boer as their next manager may have been hampered by Marc Overmars

Former Arsenal winger Overmars is now Ajax's sporting director

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The Independent Football

Frank de Boer's chances of succeeding Tim Sherwood as the next Tottenham manager may have been hampered by his sporting director at Ajax, former Arsenal winger Marc Overmars.

Spurs are thought to have been aggrieved by the widespread reports of their approach for De Boer, which became apparent when Marc Overmars, now the Eredivisie champion's sporting director, revealed that there had been contact.

While it seems clear that Overmars took a call from Spurs about De Boer, this is understood to have been far more informal than was first believed. Instead of making a full approach to speak to De Boer, Tottenham were merely checking on the 43-year-old’s contractual situation.

Overmars, the former Gunners winger, is said to have had a good relationship with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy in the past.

Although Spurs are still monitoring De Boer’s situation, Southampton head coach Mauricio Pochettino appears to have the easiest path to White Hart Lane and has strong support in the Tottenham boardroom. Shortly after Sunday’s final game of the season against Aston Villa, Spurs’ hierarchy are expected to agree a deal with Sherwood over the remaining year of his 18-month contract, allowing them to begin formal discussions with potential successors.


De Boer was expected to leave Holland today for Indonesia, where Ajax will play two friendly games on 11 May and 14 May as part of an end-of-season tour. Ajax return on 17 May, meaning that De Boer would be unable to travel to London for face-to-face talks until 18 May at the earliest. The former Holland captain is understood to be keen, however, to have clarity on his future by the end of the month. De Boer has seen two of his key players, Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen, complete protracted moves to Spurs during the last two summers that have cast a shadow over Ajax’s plans.

Both moves were completed long after the players had returned for pre-season and De Boer does not want similar uncertainty over his own circumstances when preparations for the 2014-15 campaign begin in earnest.

At this stage, however, De Boer’s representatives have heard nothing more from Spurs. A forthright character,  De Boer has answered openly when asked about his interest in working for Tottenham and in the Premier League and this has caused some discomfort at a club who like their managers to be seen and not heard.