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.
Who could replace Tim Sherwood as Tottenham manager?
Who could replace Tim Sherwood as Tottenham manager?
1/11 Frank de Boer
Hugely respected former Ajax and Barcelona player Frank de Boer looks to have taken well to management having won the Eredivisie the last four years running. As respected as it is, Ajax has a tendency to be a stepping stone on to bigger things. So is Spurs big enough? The Dutchman has been strongly linked and in return he has suggested he would be keen.
2/11 Mauricio Pochettino
When Southampton appointed Pochettino it came as a shock. Few knew much more about him than he once tripped Michael Owen in the box when England met Argentina at the 2002 World Cup. Since then, he's shown himself to be a more than adept manager in the Premier League, making the most of the youthful team he found at St Mary's and instilling an ambition in the club few realised they were capable of. Since the departure of executive chairman Nicolas Cortese, the man who brought Pochettino to the club, there have been question marks over his future.
3/11 Glenn Hoddle
Glenn Hoddle was a fans favourite at White Hart Lane and has previously managed the North London club. The former England manager has been out of work since leaving his role as Wolverhampton Wanderers boss in 2006 and has openly expressed his desire to manage Tottenham Hotspur once again. He wasn't shy of criticising Sherwood either.
4/11 Jurgen Klinsmann
A Tottenham legend, Jurgen Klinsmann lit up the Premier League during his spell at White Hart Lane. Many Spurs fans will have fond memories of the German genius during his time in North London and would love to see the current United States national team boss make a return to the Lane.
5/11 Justin Edinburgh
Former Tottenham Hotspur defender Justin Edinburgh has worked wonders with League Two Newport County during his two-and-a-bit-years with the South Wales club. He joined the Exiles in 2011 and went on to win the Conference Premier play-offs the season after. Could he be a surprise candidate for the White Hart Lane hot seat?
6/11 Jupp Heynckes
The veteran German manager, who was named Fifa coach of the year in January, has been out of work since leaving Bayern Munich in May. In his last season at the German giants he won the Bundesliga, German Cup and the Champions League. He is currently retired but could the opportunity to manage Tottenham Hotspur draw him out of his armchair?
7/11 Sean Dyche
After being unceremoniously sacked by Watford, Sean Dyche has reinvented himself at Championship side Burnley. Dubbed the 'Ginger Mourinho' by the Turf Moor crowd, Dyche is a manager whose stock is rising, with his Clarets side having been promoted to the Premier League for next season.
8/11 Diego Simeone
Diego Simeone has taken to management like a duck to water, although the British public may not be his biggest fans, after the Argentinian was responsible for getting David Beckham sent-off at the 1998 World Cup in France. His record in Spain since taking over Atletico Madrid has been incredibly impressive with his side in contention for the La Liga title as well as reaching the lChampions League final. Might be difficult for Spurs to convince him to switch.
9/11 Michael Laudrup
The Dane has been out of work since being sacked by Swansea City over e-mail in February. During his time in Wales he led the Swans to their first trophy in their 102-year history as well as getting them to play some of leagues most attractive football.
10/11 Eddie Howe
Eddie Howe's name being thrown into the mix for the Tottenham manager's job could come as a surprise to the fans, but he is a manager that has impressed this season in the Championship. After a successful period at Bournemouth, he left for Burnley, his time at Turf Moor wasn't the best, but since returning to the Cherries he has got them playing an attractive style of football and up to 12th in the Championship.
11/11 David Moyes
Before he was 'chosen' to manage Manchester United, Moyes was linked with Spurs. Having been sacked after less than 10 months in charge of Manchester United, White Hart Lane could provide a quick return to management. His record prior to his latest job is excellent - after all - United thought he was good enough to replace Sir Alex.
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.
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