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Champions League

Ajax boss Erik Ten Hag back in Tottenham frame after Antonio Conte bid collapse

Tottenham will seek further talks with Ajax boss Erik ten Hag after their move for Antonio Conte collapsed on Friday.

Ten Hag was among the original candidates sought out by chairman Daniel Levy and director of technical performance Steve Hitchen following Jose Mourinho’s departure, and was an early favourite for the job.

However, Ajax triggered a contract extension clause at the end of April and that looked to have killed off any hopes Spurs had of getting him out of Amsterdam.

After it became clear that Tottenham ’s bid to land former Inter Milan and Chelsea manager Conte was not viable from either side, though, Ten Hag, who won the Double in Holland last season, has returned to the frame.

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Ajax boss Erik ten Hag is back in the fame for the Spurs job
Ajax boss Erik ten Hag is back in the fame for the Spurs job

And Spurs will now see if a deal can be done to get the Dutchman in this month.

Any hopes Spurs had of getting Mauricio Pochettino back appear to be all but dead with Paris Saint-Germain adamant they will not release him from a contract that still has a year to run and then an option of a further year in the club’s favour.

While Roberto Martinez is understood to have had a conversation with Spurs but will not talk to them in any great depth until Belgium’s involvement in this summer’s European Championship is over.

Ten Hag has long been admired by those in the corridors of power at Tottenham.

They were particularly impressed with the way Ajax played when the two sides contested those two legs of their epic Champions League semi-final in 2019.

Conte, who won the Premier League with Chelsea and Serie A with Inter Milan, to go with his three Series A titles at Juventus, spoke at length with Spurs last week.

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But it became clear on Friday that he wanted significant funds to build his team on and off the pitch and Levy wasn’t willing to put any more pressure than is necessary on the club’s already straining finances.

Meanwhile, the arrival at Spurs of former Juve director of football Fabio Partarici, who will work closely with Levy and Hitchen, is understood to be imminent.

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