Feyenoord boss Arne Slot is a firm outside contender to land the Tottenham job this summer just months after rejecting a lucrative approach from Leeds. The highly-rated Dutch tactician has propelled the Rotterdam giants to new heights this season after ruthlessly capitalising on the demise of champions Ajax following Erik ten Hag's departure to Manchester United last summer.
Slot's swashbuckling side have lost just once in 27 Eredivisie outings in Holland this season and they now boast an eight-point advantage at the summit having recently defeated title rivals Ajax 3-2 in Amsterdam.
The impressive 44-year-old coach is understood to have attracted admirers in the Spurs boardroom after implementing an eye-catching brand of possession-based football that requires the ball to be moved through the thirds at speed.
Feyenoord recently registered 50 attempts at goal during their 4-4 KNVB Cup draw with NEC Nijmegen and have averaged 20 shots per 90 minutes this season compared to Tottenham's measly 14 as they continue to pepper the opposition with merciless force.
Daniel Levy is adopting a patient approach to the Spurs' managerial search after managing director of football Fabio Paratici's immediate leave of absence and after Mauricio Pochettino, Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte all failed to deliver silverware in north London, there is now a sense that a change of strategy is required in order to achieve long-term stability and success.
There is an unwanted lingering feeling of regret within Tottenham that the club did not push ahead with the appointment of Man United boss Ten Hag in the summer of 2021 when the Dutchman was interviewed for the vacancy.
Spurs instead pushed ahead with a surprise move for former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo, who was relieved of his duties after just four months at the helm.
Ten Hag has since overseen immediate improvements at United this season and despite several notable blips including the humiliating 7-0 defeat at Liverpool, Spurs have been left to lick their wounds over what might have been if they handed him the job just under two years ago when he seemed the ideal fit.
Pochettino's return to north London looked a formality just a matter of weeks ago following the sacking of Antonio Conte but the Argentine is still yet to have been contacted by his former club as he patiently awaits an opening.
Tottenham are also firmly interested in the services of Julian Nagelsmann and Luis Enrique but both candidates are among the current frontrunners to take over at rivals Chelsea at the end of the season when Frank Lampard will complete his stay as caretaker boss.
Should either or both remain available, they will also be considered as part of Spurs' extensive formal recruitment process but Slot's stock is expected to sky-rocket come the end of the season with Feyenoord now on the verge of Eredivisie glory.
His decisive coaching principals, philosophy, expansive style of play and savvy man-management now see him described by sources as a genuine contender for the Tottenham hot-seat - even though he is not recognised among the current favorites for the position.
Slot, who also guided Feyenoord to the Conference League final last season, also displayed admirable loyalty in early February when he received a formal approach from Leeds to discuss the prospect of taking over from Jesse Marsch - instead opting to remain with Feyenoord until at least the end of the season.
His current contract at De Kuip is believed to be protected by a release clause that does not become active until the summer of 2024.
That means should Tottenham wish to enter formal negotiations and discussions with Slot, they would have to agree a compensation fee with Feyenoord before finalising any potential deal.
Former Spurs favourite Rafael van der Vaart recently offered a glowing endorsement of Slot, suggesting he has all the makings of a successful Tottenham manager.
"He's going to be the champion this year, he is one of the biggest talents as a coach and he would be the ideal trainer for Ajax, but [going between] Feyenoord and Ajax is always a problem. It's a good option for Tottenham," the Dutchman told BBC Radio 5 Live.
Brighton's Roberto De Zerbi is another name of huge admiration at Tottenham but the Italian is believed to be settled at the Amex Stadium after a barnstorming debut campaign in the Premier League.
While his Albion contract is also protected by a release clause that does not become active until this summer, Express Sport understands Tottenham are not deterred by De Zerbi's ambition to remain with Brighton and he is certainly a name that could fall under serious consideration at the end of the season.