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Feyenoord boss Arne Slot is emerging as a serious contender alongside Julian Nagelsmann to become Tottenham Hotspur’s next head coach, sources have told ESPN.
Slot has guided Feyenoord to top spot in the Dutch Eredivisie, having lost one league match all season as they aim to win their first title since 2017.
Spurs are considering a number of candidates to replace Antonio Conte, who was sacked on March 27, triggering a chaotic chain of events which saw his assistant Cristian Stellini put in interim charge before he was dismissed and replaced by Ryan Mason following last month’s 6-1 thrashing at Newcastle United.
Slot is under contract at Feyenoord until 2025 and only has a clause in his deal allowing him to join a Premier League club in 2024 — meaning the Dutch club would be entitled to compensation were he to leave. Nevertheless, sources have told ESPN that he has previously attracted the attention of other English clubs including Chelsea and West Ham United.
According to sources, Spurs don’t want to miss out on appointing a lesser well-known coach after rejecting Erik ten Hag following Jose Mourinho’s departure from the club.
Ten Hag could win a cup double with Manchester United in his debut campaign. United have already claimed the Carabao Cup and will face rivals Manchester City in the FA Cup final later this month.
Sources have told ESPN that Slot is on the club’s shortlist along with Nagelsmann and at least one other unidentified candidate as Daniel Levy looks to make his 12th permanent appointment in 22 years as chairman.
Complications over Nagelsmann’s departure from Bayern Munich make him an expensive option given the Bundesliga club are reportedly continuing to pay the 35-year-old a salary despite sacking him in March.
Nagelsmann held a series of talks with Chelsea over their vacant managerial position but withdrew from the running after becoming frustrated with the process as they committed to speaking to multiple individuals, narrowing down their shortlist from as many as seven to identifying Mauricio Pochettino as their first option.
Sources have told ESPN that Spurs have not as yet made contact with former boss Pochettino but other names have been discussed internally including Brendan Rodgers.
Levy had spoken to Rodgers in the past about becoming Spurs manager and is out of work after leaving Leicester City by mutual consent on April 3.
It is unclear whether Rodgers is on Tottenham’s shortlist. One source also suggested Mainz boss Bo Svensson is being considered while Celtic’s Ange Postecloglou and Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi have been linked with the vacancy.
Tottenham have dropped to sixth place in the league following Sunday’s 4-3 defeat to Liverpool and are almost certain to miss out on qualification for next season’s Champions League. They are nine points behind fourth-placed Manchester United having played two games more.
Spurs face a scramble to secure any European football next season — the absence of which would make it harder to attract a top coach — while any potential coach would likely seek assurances over the future of Harry Kane.
The 29-year-old is anticipated to discuss his situation at the end of the season, when he will have one year left on his existing contract.