Spurs chase Queiroz and Arnesen

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The Independent Online

Although Spurs refused to confirm reports that they are replacing their director of football, David Pleat, with the general manager of PSV Eindhoven, Frank Arnesen, it seems that the former Denmark striker has been offered the job of technical director at White Hart Lane by the chairman Daniel Levy. This would leave no room for Pleat in his current role, which he has held for six years.

Although Spurs refused to confirm reports that they are replacing their director of football, David Pleat, with the general manager of PSV Eindhoven, Frank Arnesen, it seems that the former Denmark striker has been offered the job of technical director at White Hart Lane by the chairman Daniel Levy. This would leave no room for Pleat in his current role, which he has held for six years.

Although Tottenham Hotspur's initial target as Glenn Hoddle's long-term replacement, the Italian national coach Giovanni Trapattoni, has now gone on record saying he would still be prepared to take the job after Euro 2004, Real Madrid's former Manchester United coach, Carlos Queiroz, has become the new favourite in a partnership with Arnesen.

A Spurs spokesperson said: "We have seen this speculation but there are no plans to make any announcement."

Pleat, who was Tottenham's full-time manager in 1986-87, taking them to third in the league and the FA Cup final, also made no comment. His situation as a paid director of a Stock Exchange-listed company means he is more than an an ordinary employee of the club and could contest plans to scrap his directorial role.

The likelihood is that Spurs will offer him a reduced post, but Pleat, who has twice before filled in as caretaker manager following the exits of Christian Gross and George Graham, seems more likely to walk away completely.

Many would-be candidates for the manager's position at White Hart Lane have apparently raised concerns about having to work under Pleat, who has said he wants to retain a strong influence over transfer activity. He has already bought Jermain Defoe for £7m from West Ham, Michael Brown for £500,000 from Sheffield United and, last week, Spurs settled on a £2m fee for Leeds' England goalkeeper Paul Robinson.

Arnesen, meanwhile, has made it clear he is set to leave PSV where he has spent the last 19 years, including the last three seasons of his playing career.

Although he still has two years left on his contract at PSV, Arnesen has apparently been told he can leave without compensation after team manager Guus Hiddink's role was enlarged into the technical area.

Arnesen, who played for Anderlecht against Spurs in the 1983 Uefa Cup final, has been quoted as saying: "PSV and I will part as good friends but it is time for a new challenge."

Arnesen is expected to be responsible for transfers and scouting, while Queiroz has emerged as a front-runner for head coach after his tenure at Real Madrid has become threatened by four defeats in a row.

Queiroz, however, may also be a target to return to Old Trafford where he assisted the Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson last season.

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