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With Tim Sherwood's Tottenham Hotspur fate seemingly decided, the search for his replacement appears to have become more compelling than the club's end of season run-in.
Louis van Gaal will leave his post as Holland's national team manager following their World Cup campaign and has made no secret of his desire to manage in the Premier League. That admission combined with Tottenham's desire to bring him to north London has worked to make his appointment this summer a foregone conclusion in the eyes of some.
The 62-year-old coach is believed to have already held talks with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy but the possibility of vacancies at both Manchester United and Arsenal may see him concentrate on developments away from White Hart Lane.
Dutch daily De Telegraaf report the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager van Gaal will make a decision regarding his future as soon as next week. Should the Dutch boss look to bide his time rather than accept an offer from Levy, where will that leave Tottenham? IB Times UK consider the other candidates for the job.
Frank de Boer
The 42-year-old is on course to win his fourth consecutive Eredivisie title with Ajax – a feat unmatched by his lengthy list of reputable predecessors at the Amsterdam club. The attacking, yet controlled verve he has re-implemented at the Dutch club has somewhat inevitably seen him linked with the job at former club Barcelona. But in a recent interview, de Boer insisted taking over a club already equipped for domination is of little interest to him, preferring to take on a project where there is room for improvement. Tottenham's need for a renewed identity could certainly match that desire. According to his brother Ronald, de Boer rejected the Spurs job earlier this year, could he do it twice?
The dismissal of former Southampton manager Nigel Adkins and the subsequent appointment of fancy dan foreigner Maurcio Pochettino was greeted with scepticism last January. But since then, the Argentine has carved a reputation as one of the Premier League's best young coaches and restored Southampton as a stable Premier League force. Pochettino has been reluctant to be drawn on the possibility of taking the role at White Hart Lane in recent weeks but with just a year remaining on his contract at St Mary's following the departure of close-confidant Nicola Cortese, Tottenham may see him as the affordable and astute appointment the club needs.
Reports suggesting Tottenham will make an approach for Jurgen Klopp seem optimistic at best. So what about the man following in his footsteps? After Klopp left FSV Mainz in 2008 for the Westfalenstadion, Tuchel stepped up from the club's youth ranks a year later to lead their quest to consolidate their place back in Germany's top flight. The 40-year-old has done just that and garnered a reputation as one of the league's and Europe's brightest coaches. While often building a side to press and strike with lightening pace on the counter attack, his tactical versatility has won him as many plaudits as his accomplishments at the club have.
Upon their promotion back to the Bundesliga, Mainz have never been threatened by relegation under Tuchel's tutelage, finishing as high as sixth one year despite the financial limitations at the club. All of this sounds very promising but as ever, there is a catch. Despite perceived limitations of what he can achieve as Mainz; Tuchel has shown no desire to move onto bigger things, having rejected the possibilities of taking over at Schalke and more recently Bayer Leverkusen. Would a call from England change his mind?
In the summer of 2013 Swansea City chairman Hew Jenkins was drafting is own list of replacements for his manager Michael Laudrup who was coveted by Paris Saint Germain among others. Seven months later, the former Barcelona and Real Madrid star was out the door at the Liberty Stadium. But why? Six losses in his last eight games won't have helped but given the praise his brand of captivating football and ability to work the transfer market attracted, it remains a baffling call. Still without a new role in the management game, Laudrup would certainly present a cheap option for Tottenham.
The former Azzurri international is another whose reputation in his homeland has grown exponentially in a short space of time. After Delio Rossi was sensationally sacked by Fiorentina in November 2011 for punching his player Adem Ljajic, Montella was eventually handed the role in June 2012, taking over from interim boss Vincenzo Guerini. The 39-year-old has excelled since then having implemented his effective possession based football and although his quest to restore the club in the Champions League is likely to fall short this season, he has won many admirers in his attempts.