Italy boss Cesare Prandelli linked with Tottenham job after World Cup

The former Roma and Fiorentina manager enjoys a close relationship with Tottenham's technical director, Franco Baldini

Cesare Prandelli has emerged as a potential candidate to take over at Tottenham Hotspur in the summer, when he is expected to leave his post as Italy manager.

The Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, is thought to have spoken to the 56-year-old, who guided the Azzurri to the final of Euro 2012, following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas in December. The Netherlands manager, Louis van Gaal, and Frank de Boer of Ajax are also understood to have been approached before Tim Sherwood was awarded a contract until the end of next season.

Despite guiding Tottenham to within touching distance of the top four after six wins from their last eight Premier League games Sherwood, the former technical coordinator, could still be replaced should Spurs not achieve Champions League qualification, with Prandelli a leading contender.

Reports in Italy have suggested that the former Roma and Fiorentina manager would welcome the opportunity to manage in the Premier League and has been taking English classes since Levy's approach.

He also enjoys a close relationship with Tottenham's technical director, Franco Baldini, although the former assistant to ex-England manager Fabio Capello has been criticised for sanctioning the club record signing of Erik Lamela from his former club Roma as a replacement for Gareth Bale.

Prandelli, appointed by the Italian FA in 2010, is due to hold talks over his future next month but has indicated he is ready for a return to club management.

Van Gaal admitted last month that there is "a chance" he could move to north London after the World Cup, with the former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager believed to be keen to finish his career with a stint in the Premier League.

Similarly, his compatriot De Boer is thought to be open to joining Tottenham at the end of the season, but much will rest on whether Sherwood can defy expectations and bring Champions League football to White Hart Lane.

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