ANDRE VILLAS-BOAS was today in advanced talks to become the manager of Tottenham Hotspur.
The fact that Villas-Boas turned down an offer to become the head coach of Brazilian club Sao Paulo, after they sacked Emerson Leao yesterday, would suggest negotiations are progressing well.
Under the terms of his departure from Chelsea in March, Villas-Boas can move to another club in England only after July 1. He has now held talks with Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy and both sides are hopeful of reaching an agreement.
Contrary to suggestions last week, Villas-Boas did not grow frustrated at not being the only candidate Spurs wanted to speak to - the club has considered talking to France coach Laurent Blanc -- and never threatened to walk away. It has now emerged that the Portuguese is, and always has been, Levy's first-choice.
Levy has been in the United States to handle a private matter but has now returned to London to handle the process of appointing a successor to Harry Redknapp, who was sacked two weeks ago.
Villas-Boas is anxious to return to management, and it is understood Levy has been impressed by his plans to take Spurs back into the Champions League.
Villas-Boas fits the profile of the kind of progressive young coach sought by Levy, with the club set to move to a new training ground and wanting to reduce the age of the squad.
As part of that overhaul, Spurs have hijacked Liverpool's bid to sign Icelandic midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson for £8million from German club Hoffenheim.
The 22-year-old is expected to undergo a medical in the next few days with personal terms to be agreed.
Sigurdsson was on loan at Swansea for the second half of last season, taken there by the club's then manager, Brendan Rodgers, who wanted to sign him permanently and then wanted to take him along to Liverpool.
Sigurdsson has still not agreed personal terms with Spurs, but the club are expecting to announce a deal next week. He is regarded as an eventual successor to Rafael van der Vaart.
Spurs do not want to lose the Dutch international but there have been suggestions that he might seek a return to Germany.
Spurs are braced for a bid from Real Madrid for Luka Modric, with the club set to offer cash and midfielder Nuri Sahin.
Levy is understood to want a package worth £50m. Sahin, 23, a Turkish international, also fits the age profile Spurs are aiming for.
He was signed by Real last year for £8m but has suffered from injury and struggled to break into the first team under Jose Mourinho.
Spurs also remain confident that they will secure the signing of Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen.
A fee of just under £10m has been agreed but there remains a wrangle over the player's entitlement to 15pc of the transfer value.