Tottenham could have to make a move for Louis van Gaal sooner than they will have hoped if they want the Dutchman as manager for next season after Spartak Moscow emerged as a rival for the current Holland coach’s signature.
Van Gaal is understood to have met with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy in December after Andre Villas-Boas was sacked, and the manager himself has repeatedly confirmed his desire to move to the Premier League even though Tim Sherwood was given an 18-month deal that runs until the end of next season.
Ruud Gullit even went to far as suggest that the proposed move was already “a done deal”, with the former Chelsea manager claiming talks had already taken place between Levy and van Gaal that would see him head to White Hart Lane after the summer World Cup. But it appears competition for his services is coming from Russian side Spartak Moscow, who are believed to be ready to offer van Gaal a lucrative contract to head to the Russian capital.
The Evening Standard understands Van Gaal is also monitoring the situation at Manchester United, where David Moyes is under pressure after a series of below-par performances. Spartak, meanwhile, have been courting Van Gaal for some time, even making him a formal offer in 2011, which the former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach rejected.
Van Gaal is still likely to choose English football over the Russian game, not least because of the language barrier and because of the higher profile of the Premier League, but news of Spartak’s interest is another complication in what has been a difficult period for Levy.
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.
Sections of the away support turned on Sherwood during the closing stages of yesterday’s 4-0 thumping at Liverpool, questioning why the head coach had chosen to spend most of the game in the stands, rather than in the dug-out with the rest of his coaching team.
Sherwood was motionless for much of the game as he sat two rows behind Levy. Rumours last night that Sherwood had been dismissed after the game were wide of the mark, and the pair are thought to have spoken most recently last week, when Sherwood informed his chairman of his summer transfer targets if he is retained as manager.
The chances of that are thought to be receding as Sherwood has been unable to reverse the trend of poor performances against the best clubs in the league. Standard Sport understands that Sherwood would also request a significant overhaul of the squad, recommending that a number of the players signed for more than £100million last summer be sold. Of the seven, only Christian Eriksen impressed with any regularity.
After the debacle at Anfield, players and staff stayed in the dressing room for almost an hour, where frank views were exchanged on the team’s inability to compete in most matches against the current top four this season.
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