Tottenham’s top target for manager job was Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers – not Jose Mourinho

Brendan Rodgers

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers was Tottenham’s first choice to replace the sacked Mauricio Pochettino before Jose Mourinho’s appointment, say reports.

The Argentine was dismissed on Tuesday night after a lacklustre start to the season that has left Spurs languishing in 14th place in the Premier League.

Mourinho was swiftly appointed as his successor, marking the former Chelsea manager’s return to the game after he was fired by Manchester United in December 2018.

But according to the Mail Online, Rodgers was Spurs chairman Daniel Levy’s preferred candidate for the role.

Levy asked Leicester about the former Liverpool boss’s availability, but were told that the move would be impossible.

RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann was also considered, but it was decided that he would be too difficult a target to lure to north London, having only joined the Bundesliga club over the summer.

Mourinho, on the other hand, was a relatively straightforward appointment as he was eager to take the job and had been in secret talks with the Spurs hierarchy since October.

A deal was agreed with the Portuguese at the start of last week, but the delay in announcing Pochettino’s dismissal arose from their failure to agree the terms of their separation.

The report claims that Levy’s relationship with the former Southampton boss had broken down beyond repair by the start of October, after they were thrashed 7-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

A compensation agreement was the major stumbling block, but the termination package was finalised on Monday during a meeting between the two.

The players are said to have been left shocked and surprised by the sacking of Pochettino, who led the club to the Champions League final last season.

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