Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino has emerged as Tottenham’s number one managerial target, according to the Mirror.
With Spurs’ initial target, Louis Van Gaal, seemingly set for Manchester United, the club have been forced to widen their search. Pochettino has been at the forefront of the Londoners’ thoughts ever since they decided to replace Tim Sherwood at the end of the season despite awarding him an 18-month contract in December.
The Argentinian has now been identified as the ideal successor to current interim manager, Tim Sherwood, as far as club Chairman Daniel Levy is concerned. This leaves Southampton facing a momentous battle to keep their head coach who has quite simply been a revelation during his time in England.
Pochettino has another year left on his existing contract but has held off entering negotiations to see where the land lies in the summer. After the mid-season departure of Nicola Cortese, the 42-year-old has been left unsettled and this could ultimately prompt his departure.
He is admired in North London for the high tempo, attacking style of play he has introduced at Southampton, with the club sitting comfortably in eighth place.
Pochettino has worked wonders during his short spell in charge of the Saints. He inherited the foundations of strong team upon arrival but, within just over a year, he has taken the club to a new level.
Tottenham are essentially looking for a manager to rebuild this season’s dilapidated squad - to produce a side capable of targeting a top-four finish next campaign – and the Argentine coach appears to be the man.
His use of youth has been second-to-none ad thanks to the trust he has offered his players, a number of the club are now looking at a place in Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad.
This is a trait Daniel Levy surely admires. With an abundance of youthful British players amongst the Tottenham ranks, the astute businessman must be approaching Pochettino with the development of the club’s youngsters in mind.
Southampton are likely to face an intense battle keeping hold of these youngsters over the summer months and this could ultimately decide Pochettino’s future. Should the club lose the likes of Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers, he could also opt to leave St. Mary’s.