Tottenham plan talks with Erik ten Hag after Antonio Conte pursuit collapses

Spurs are planning to hold talks with Ajax boss Erik ten Hag (Picture: Getty)

Tottenham have reportedly turned their attentions to securing a possible deal for Ajax manager Erik ten Hag after their pursuit of Antonio Conte fell apart.

Talks with former Chelsea boss Conte – who quit Inter Milan after steering the Nerazzurri to the Serie A title – were thought to be progressing well and Spurs appeared to be closing in on hiring the Italian as Jose Mourinho’s long-term successor.

But Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy grew concerned about Conte’s excessive demands and feared the 51-year-old would be unwilling to provide a realistic pathway into the first-team for young talent.

Conte had his own reservations about taking charge at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as he felt the club would be unable to match his lofty ambitions and the north London outfit have decided to pursue other avenues.

Antonio Conte looks on during Inter Milan's clash with Udinese

Conte is without a club after stepping down as Inter Milan boss last month (Picture: Getty)

According to The Daily Mirror, Ten Hag is firmly in the frame once again having been heavily linked with the position before Spurs accelerated their discussions with Conte.

Levy and technical performance Steve Hitchen will explore whether an agreement can be reached for Ten Hag before the end of the month, with Paris Saint-Germain ruling out a potential return for former boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Tottenham have kept close tabs on Ten Hag’s progress since as far back as 2019, when they fought back to beat the Dutchman’s impressive Ajax team in one of the great Champions League semi-finals.

Ten Hag has been with Ajax for four-and-a-half years and led his side to the Eredivisie title for a second time in three years last season, finishing the campaign with a 16-point gap between themselves and nearest rivals PSV Eindhoven in the table.

The 51-year-old managed Go Ahead Eagles, FC Utrecht and Bayern Munich’s reserve team before taking over the reins from Michael Reiziger at Johan Cruijff ArenA in 2017.

Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez, 47, formerly of Everton, Wigan and Swansea, remains on Spurs’ radar but the Spaniard is not prepared to discuss his future until the European Championships are over.

Former Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici, 48, is expected to be unveiled by Tottenham over the coming days after saying his goodbyes in Turin.

However, the Italian, who built up a stellar reputation over his 11-year stay with the Serie A giants, has remained tight-lipped when pressed on speculation linking him with Spurs.

‘The Tottenham job? I don’t think this is the right time to talk about other clubs today,’ Paratici told reporters last Friday.

‘It’s my Juventus farewell today. My family hopes that I will find a job quickly.’

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