Tottenham’s prime candidate to permanently replace Jose Mourinho appears headed for Bayern Munich, with Julian Nagelsmann having informed RB Leipzig he wants to take the position soon to be vacated by Hansi Flick.
The Bundesliga champions are even thought to have agreed terms with the highly-rated 33-year-old coach but discussions between the two clubs are likely to drag on as Leipzig seek over £20million to let the German leave the Red Bull Arena.
Nagelsmann, dubbed ‘mini Mourinho’ by some, had been one of the coaches highly admired by Spurs as they seek a full-time successor to Mourinho, with interim boss Ryan Mason as of yet still too inexperienced for the role.
And that means the north London club will be forced to re-evaluate as they go in search of their new long-term boss, hoping for a return to a Mauricio Pochettino-style management.
Reports have claimed that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy’s criteria for his next boss is that he wants a progressive attack-minded coach who fits the club’s culture that plays with an attacking possession-based brand of football.
With that in mind, Express Sport looks at four possible alternatives to Nagelsmann as Spurs look to recruit a coach capable of restoring pride and positivity among the club’s fanbase.
Erik ten Hag
Probably the stand-out option, Ten Hag has enjoyed several excellent seasons with Ajax, who are on the cusp of yet another Dutch title this term.
The 51-year-old would have led the Eredivisie giants to three successive title triumphs were it not for the coronavirus pandemic forcing the 2019-20 campaign to be declared null and void.
Still, he won the domestic treble in 2018-19 when Ajax reached the Champions League semi-finals only to lose to Spurs in the semi-finals in extraordinary circumstances.
Ten Hag has been at Ajax since 2017 and may fancy a fresh challenge, although football.london say there are concerns at how the Dutchman may fare outside the Ajax environment.
Still, he utilises an exciting possession-heavy style of play, has overseen the development of several massive talents – see: Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt – and he boasts a formidable win ratio of nearly 73 per cent in Amsterdam.
Arguably the finest British coach in world football at present, Rodgers has repaired his reputation significantly since the sour way his Liverpool tenure ended and ticks almost every box.
The Northern Irishman – who it must be remembered coached a phenomenal 2013-14 Liverpool team who were a slip away from the league title – enjoyed back-to-back trebles at Celtic and has performed wonders with Leicester too.
Yet again building an absorbing attack-minded side, Rodgers, 48, has a squad from whom every club in Europe would love to pinch at least three or four talents.
Leicester crumbled late on last season to throw away a top-four spot but sitting third at present, don’t look likely to do so again this year. The Foxes are also into the FA Cup final where they face Chelsea on May 15.
Rodgers’ record in Europe, with Liverpool, Celtic and Leicester, must be scrutinised but he has shown he’s got the credentials for the biggest of jobs.
Whether he’d swap his current role for Tottenham is another matter however, having publicly distanced himself from a move, and given the control he enjoys with the Midlands outfit, which he might not quite get down in the capital.
A potentially controversial candidate, given Brighton linger just above the Premier League relegation zone and have won just seven of 33 matches, there’s a reason Potter is highly rated.
The 45-year-old impressed at Ostersund and Swansea City and while Brighton are low down the table, much of that has been due to their dire finishing.
Statistics suggest were Potter able to implement the style he has imprinted on the Seagulls with a squad of higher-quality players, like Spurs, they would fare much better.
Another British coach, the Solihull native led Brighton to 15th last season and should steer the south coast club away from the drop this term too.
Expectations would be far higher at Spurs but his free-flowing style of play would soon win over doubters were Potter able to copy the performances his Brighton team produce at the Amex.
While Potter may be steering Brighton to safety, Parker’s Fulham look set for an immediate return to the Championship.
Yet the 40-year-old, in his first senior job having been in charge since succeeding Claudio Ranieri in February 2019, deserves credit for the fact the Cottagers have put up a fight considering they failed to win any of their first six matches of the season and were written off by many as early as September.
Parker probably sits at the bottom of the list given he has the least experience of the four, but the former Spurs midfielder has had Fulham playing good football, the club let down by their lack of firepower up top.
His possession-heavy defensively-solid style is much more pragmatic than the likes of Ten Hag, Rodgers and Potter and certainly there would be many raised eyebrows if Parker was the pick. He gets in over Wolves’ Nuno Espirito Santo given that Fulham have still been exciting to watch at times.
Parker has displayed with Fulham that he has the capabilities to become a high-level coach and like Potter, would benefit from having higher calibre players to work with. He’s also the only one of the four who knows what it is like to be at Spurs already. Still, though, he should not be among the main choices.