TOTTENHAM Hotspur will this week step up their search for a new manager, with Andre Villas-Boas and Ralf Rangnick still the front-runners to succeed Harry Redknapp.
No manager has yet been spoken to directly, and certainly no one has been offered the job by Spurs or chairman Daniel Levy, but soundings are being taken. The club are also likely to push ahead with their plans to recruit a director of football as well as a head coach.
It is understood that Tottenham are unlikely to consider former sporting director Damien Comolli -- who recently left Liverpool -- but want to find a role for Tim Sherwood, who is highly regarded within the club. Txiki Begiristain, who was director of football at Barcelona between 2003 and 2010, is also hoping for an interview.
Both Villas-Boas, who was sacked by Chelsea earlier this year, and Rangnick, who recently turned down the chance to be head coach of West Bromwich Albion, would work comfortably within that structure and also fit the mould of the kind of young, training ground-oriented coach that Levy would like. Spurs move to a new £45million state-of-the-art training ground this summer.
They are not the only candidates and once again the representatives of France coach Laurent Blanc, who is keen to leave his national job after Euro 2012, are pushing his name.
Both Villas-Boas and Rangnick, who coached at Schalke and Stuttgart but has not worked in Engand, might be considered a gamble by some observers, although both are highly regarded within football and are committed to attacking play.
It is believed that Everton manager David Moyes and Swansea City's Roberto Martinez are not, at present, high on Spurs' list of candidates.
Meanwhile, Mustapha Nakhli, the agent of defender Jan Vertonghen, has insisted his client's move to Spurs is still on despite Redknapp's departure. Levy has been in talks with Ajax over signing the Belgium international and although the two clubs are still to agree a fee, Nakhli insisted the move remained "very close".