Tottenham’s search for a new manager has been dealt another blow after Ajax coach Erik Ten Hag signed a contract extension with the Dutch club.
Ten Hag, 51, emerged as a leading contender after Julian Nagelsmann, Spurs’s first choice to succeed Jose Mourinho, agreed to become Bayern Munich’s new coach.
But the Dutchman’s new contract until 2023 effectively rules him out of contention and leaves Spurs running out of options.
Asked about the link to Spurs, Ten Hag said: “I don’t want to rule out that that could have happened, but I know what I have here. I know who I am working with, I know what the ideas are, I know what goals we have. I’m happy here. That’s where my head and heart are at.”
They remain interested in Brendan Rodgers but the Leicester manager has indicated he is happy at the King Power Stadium, and it would take a sizeable offer to convince him to break his £10million-a-season contract with the Foxes, as well as the promise of control over transfers.
Spurs could now turn their focus to Brighton boss Graham Potter, Fulham’s Scott Parker and Ralf Rangnick, the former RB Leipzig manager who is out of work and credited with influencing a host of young coaches, including Nagelsmann.
England manager Gareth Southgate and his Belgium counterpart Roberto Martinez have also been linked with the job but neither would be available until after this summer’s European Championship, with Spurs eager to confirm an appointment by the end of the season.
Southgate is thought to be flattered by Spurs’s interest and would consider the role in the event that he is sacked by the FA following a disappointing tournament, but would not walk away from England for a club job.
His home? Amsterdam… ❌❌❌
+1 for Erik ten Hag ➥ 2023
— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) April 30, 2021
Massimiliano Allegri and Rafa Benitez are both experienced out-of-work coaches who would consider an approach.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy wants a progressive coach, committed to attacking football. Ryan Mason, 29, has been named interim head-coach until the end of the season.