Tottenham Hotspur have moved one step closer to filling their managerial vacancy this week.
According to Italian transfer guru Fabrizo Romano, the Premier League outfit have scheduled a “direct meeting” with the Ajax boss and he’s “among the candidates” to become the next manager of Spurs.
It’s also claimed that the 51-year-old is open to leaving the Eredivisie champions this summer, which is something Romano alludes to further in a separate column for the Guardian.
Ten Hag could be seeking a fresh challenge having won everything there is to win domestically in Holland, where he has amassed a phenomenal 73% win rate since December 2017.
Now that things appear to be in motion, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and much of the Hotspur faithful should start to get a little more excited as the Dutchman could well be the only ideal candidate remaining.
After Jose Mourinho was sacked over a week ago, both RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann and Leicester City’s Brendan Rodgers quickly emerged as Spurs’ preferred options to take the reins.
However, Levy was quickly stopped in his tracks – the 33-year-old has since been confirmed as Bayern Munich’s next manager, whilst the Foxes boss ruled himself out of the running as he’s, understandably, more than happy in the Midlands.
It’s thought that the Spurs chief is seeking an attack-minded coach to replace the ‘Special One’ after the Portuguese was said to have “sucked the culture out of the club” and divided the dressing room, as per The Athletic.
Roberto Martinez and Gareth Southgate are two other candidates still on the table, but neither would fit the aforementioned M.O. so Levy must ensure he convinces ten Hag enough in this upcoming meeting.
The 51-year-old has revolutionised Ajax into one of the more exciting teams in Europe, predominantly playing a 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 system – similar to Mauricio Pochettino.
Both Poch and ten Hag went to battle in that famous Champions League semi-final in 2019, so the fans and Levy alike should know too well the style of football on offer.
He has transformed and developed many a young player in the three-and-a-half years he’s been at the Johan Cruijff ArenA, taking inspiration from the Ajax legend, as well as Pep Guardiola.
Matthijs de Ligt, Donny van de Beek, Frenkie de Jong, and Ryan Gravenberch are just four names that he has had a major influence on, for example.
In terms of who is left out there, ten Hag would surely be Spurs’ dream Mourinho successor and the fact that the two parties will have a discussion about coming together next season should have many in north London absolutely buzzing.