London: Tottenham have shown interest in appointing Laurent Blanc as their new manager.
The France coach is considered by the Spurs board as the outstanding candidate to replace Harry Redknapp and the club are preparing an attractive package to convince him to move to White Hart Lane.
Blanc’s contract with the French Football Association (FFF) expires after Euro 2012 and Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is ready to quadruple his current €1 million (£809,000) annual salary.
The 46-year-old has been sounded out by the Londoners and is believed to have expressed an interest in taking the role, having previously suggested he could turn his back on France if he receives an “exceptional offer”.
Former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas is also a potential candidate while Roberto Martinez has admirers within the boardroom in north London. Goal.com understands the Everton manager David Moyes is not a serious contender for the job at this stage as Spurs look to revert to a more continental coaching model.
Sources close to the matter believe Tottenham have a genuine chance of convincing Blanc to take over at White Hart Lane, with the former Manchester United defender keen to manage in the Premier League.
Since Blanc took up coaching with Bordeaux, he has rarely tasted anything other than success. In his first post with Bordeaux, he broke Lyon’s stranglehold on Ligue 1 and was appointed France boss in 2010 off the back of this remarkable work.
Les Bleus are presently on a 22-match undefeated run, which was unthinkable before Blanc’s arrival. He wants a long-term project, though, and with the FFF unable to give him guarantees, he may well look elsewhere.
Blanc has admitted that he admires the style of Barcelona, and will have Spurs playing attractive football when he moves there, but the fans will have to be patient, as all of his sides to date have been built from the back – although the way France have defended at times in Euro 2012, it is a little hard to believe!
A move to England would suit `Lolo`. He is more of a manager than a coach in the continental sense, taking a broad overview of the club, and that would doubtless be an attraction. Spurs’ history of attractive football and ambition to win trophies in the future would also be appealing to the 1998 World Cup winner, although he will be insistent on a long-term contract in order to have time to model the club according to his blueprint.
The Frenchman is known for his commitment to passing football while his managerial career so far has been hugely successful. He won the league and cup double in his second season with Bordeaux in 2009 before taking over a France side in chaos after the 2010 World Cup. Les Blues are currently on a 23-match unbeaten run ahead of their final Euro 2012 Group D match against Sweden on Tuesday.
Blanc, who has been strongly linked with a number of top European clubs in the past, also has the pedigree to attract big-name players to north London.
Spurs will not be able to speak to Blanc to establish his intentions until France are knocked out of the European Championship and therefore the Londoners do not expect to appoint their new manager until the end of the month.
Much will depend on France’s performances in Poland and Ukraine while Blanc has a poor relationship with FFF president Noel Le Graet, who has indicated he is unlikely to offer his coach a large salary increase.
“It’s always gratifying when big clubs are interested in you,” said Blanc in April. “I can sign elsewhere, before or during the Euros.
“I often hear it said that it’s the boss who decides whether or not to extend the contract of a player or a coach at the end of their contract, but people forget the employee can also decide for themselves.
“My intention is to carry on with the France team, but the fact remains, I have not extended my contract. If I get an exceptional offer, I could very well decide to leave for that club."
Levy is preparing to consider a number of alternatives should Spurs miss out on Blanc as they look for a young, progressive manager in their bid for a top four finish next season. The new boss will be expected to work closely with Tim Sherwood, who is expected to receive a promotion from his role as technical co-ordinator.
Redknapp was sacked last Wednesday, despite finishing fourth last term, following a dispute over a new contract that led to the complete breakdown of his relationship with Levy.
Villas-Boas, who was sacked by Chelsea in March, has privately expressed an interest in the job and is under consideration by Spurs, although sources within the club insist he remains second choice behind Blanc.
Martinez, the Wigan Athetic manager, is admired within White Hart Lane but there are concerns that he has not been able to match style with results at the DW Stadium.
Moyes was the initial favourite with most bookmakers but there is doubt among some senior Spurs figures about his suitability for the post, despite his decade of overachievement with Everton.
When Redknapp was the leading candidate for the England job a few months ago, Spurs made progress in sounding out a number of potential replacements. Brendan Rodgers, who was appointed Liverpool manager last month, was the preferred choice.
Martinez, who, like Rodgers, is 39, held talks with Liverpool but made it clear that he was unwilling to work under the three-man team of executives planned by owners Fenway Sports Group.