Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pleat Is Secure; Position Strengthened as Spurs Chase Coach

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pleat Is Secure; Position Strengthened as Spurs Chase Coach

Article excerpt

Byline: ADRIAN CURTIS

TOTTENHAM will today continue negotiations with their top choice as first team coach in an effort to secure his arrival before the end of January.

But the move will also cement and strengthen David Pleat's role as director of football as Spurs move to introduce a continental management structure at White Hart Lane.

Chairman Daniel Levy had previously announced that Pleat and assistant Chris Hughton would remain in charge of team affairs until the end of the season.

But he has decided to appoint a new fulltime first-team coach in the light of recent results that have left Spurs third from bottom in the Premiership.

However, contrary to reports Lazio coach Roberto Mancini is NOT their top target.

Mancini has been heavily linked with the Spurs post and while Lazio's sporting director Oreste Cinquini admits the debt-ravaged club could struggle to hold onto him, Mancini will not leave before the end of the season.

Cinquini said: "Mancini will remain at Lazio this season. That is certain.

He does have a contract until 2008 but the club are undergoing a difficult time so we cannot guarantee that he'll remain next season."

The decision to appoint a top overseas coach as eventual successor to Glenn Hoddle means that Pleat, currently caretaker manager, will revert to his director of football role with increased responsibility for contracts and transfers. The man Spurs appoint will have sole responsibility for coachingthe first team in a continental-style structure first hinted at by Pleat last month.

Mancini is on the list but names above him could include UAE coach Roy Hodgson and Italy manager Giovanni Trapattoni. But ex-Bologna coach Francesco Guidolin and PSV's Guus Hiddink have been ruled out.

Spurs sources confirmed to Standard Sport that they are locked in talks with their main target although his arrival later this month is far from certain. …

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