Mauricio Pochettino
Pochettino's future at Southampton is uncertain.

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino is the bookmakers' favourite to become Tottenham Hotspur's fourth different manager in two years after the dismissal of Tim Sherwood on Tuesday.

Spurs opted to activate a release clause in Sherwood's contract a season into his 18-month deal at White Hart Lane after the 45 year old failed to achieve Champions League qualification despite winning 14 of his 28 games in charge.

Chairman Daniel Levy sacked Andre Villas-Boas last December and will begin the search for the 11th boss of his tenure at Tottenham, with Pochettino and Ajax coach Frank de Boer among the leading contenders.

Pochettino's is yet to commit his immediate future to Southampton following the mid-season resignation of executive chairman Nicola Cortese and has been heavily linked with a move to Tottenham. Saints finished eighth in the Premier League this season.

Another candidate comes in the form of De Boer who since winning a fourth successive Eredivisie title in the Dutch capital with Ajax has talked up the possibility of moving to Spurs.

"They [Tottenham] talked informally with Ajax about my contract," De Boer told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I think they are quite happy with their manager, but it is normal that they get information about a possible successor, as have Liverpool in the past. Liverpool had four candidates and asked me if I was interested. That time I said I wanted to stay at Ajax.

"I'm very happy here, but if a club came with an interesting perspective and a good team, I would consider the proposal. I want to understand what contribution I could give."

Other candidates for the role include Napoli's Rafael Benitez, former Manchester United manager David Moyes and ex-Swansea City boss Michael Laudrup.

While Tottenham would face complexities in relinquishing Benitez - as well as Pochettino and De Boer – from their current contracts both Moyes and Laudrup, who were sacked from their positions at Old Trafford and the Liberty Stadium earlier in the season are both available.

Moyes was dismissed by United 10 months into his six-year contract at the club and has agreed a severance package with the 20-time Premier League champions while Laudrup has been unemployed since leaving Swansea in February despite guiding the club to the League Cup the previous term.

Levy said: "Moving forward, now the season is over, we shall embark on the process of finding a new Head Coach. We have a talented squad and exciting young players coming through.

"We need to build on this season, develop our potential and inspire the kind of performances that we associate with our great Club."