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Tottenham players fear Mauricio Pochettino exit – and the club have identified preferred successor

Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham players believe Mauricio Pochettino's tenure as manager is nearing an end.

According to The Sun, key figures in the Spurs dressing room think that the Argentinian will depart the club in the near future.

And several members of the squad were angered by the manager's comments after Tuesday's defeat by Colchester in the third round of the EFL Cup.

Pochettino claimed his players have "different agendas" after Spurs were knocked out of the competition on penalties.

That comment did not go down well with the players, several of whom are now of the belief that the former Southampton boss will leave his post at the next available opportunity.

The Daily Star report that Tottenham have made England head coach Gareth Southgate their preferred candidate to take over the reins should Pochettino walk away.

Chairman Daniel Levy was ready to approach Southgate when Pochettino cast doubt on his future towards the end of last season.

The 47-year-old hinted that he could resign if Tottenham won the Champions League final, which ultimately ended in a 2-0 victory for Liverpool.

Southgate was unlikely to leave international management this summer, but he could be tempted by a return to the club game after Euro 2020.

Levy has reportedly taken note of the progress Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Danny Rose, Eric Dier and Harry Winks have all made under Southgate’s guidance.

Pochettino still has a good relationship with Levy and there is no chance of the manager being sacked just yet.

However, Tottenham are developing contingency plans should the situation change – and Southgate is at the top of their wish list.

Spurs eased some of the pressure on Pochettino with a 2-1 victory over Southampton on Saturday.

They will now be looking to build on that result when Bayern Munich visit north London in the Champions League on Tuesday.

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