Tottenham are reportedly returning their attention to Ajax manager Erik ten Hag following the breakdown in negotiations with former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte.
Ten Hag was among the original candidates Spurs were considering following the sacking of Jose Mourinho in April, only for Ajax to trigger a contract extension clause in the Dutchman’s deal in April.
The option taken up by Ajax extended the manager’s deal until the summer of 2023, but that may not be enough to tie the 51-year-old to the club.
Ten Hag dropped a hint after signing the Ajax deal, when he spoke about the rumours surrounding his future and a potential move to Spurs at the time.
“I know who I am working with, I know what the ideas are, I know what goals we have,” he told the Ajax club website. “I’m happy here.
“I’m busy with where I am at, that’s at Ajax, that’s where my head and heart are at. You know what it is like with outside of football rumour… it tells you that we’re doing good work at Ajax.
“I don’t want to rule out that that could have happened, but I know what I have here.”
The Sunday Mirror reports Spurs are now returning to Ten Hag following the failure to land Conte, with the Italian believed to have had ‘major doubts’ about taking the job after failing to be convinced the club are ready to win a trophy, according to Sky Italy.
However, football.london understands Spurs and Conte held positive talks and that it is very unlikely the Italian only discovered the limits on transfer funds so late in the negotiations.
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With Conte out of the picture, Spurs are back to square one in their hunt with former boss Mauricio Pochettino also looking unlikely to depart Paris Saint-Germain for a sensational return to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Other managers who were considered early candidates included Julien Nagelsmann, who instead moved to Bayern Munich, and Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers, who has made his intention to remain at the King Power Stadium clear.
As things stand Pochettino remains the favourite with the bookmakers, followed closely by Ten Hag, Belgium manager Roberto Martinez and Brighton’s Graham Potter.