Spurs free to hold pre-World Cup talks with Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal is free to hold talks with Tottenham Hotspur about becoming their next head coach while he finalises Holland's World Cup squad.
Tim Sherwood is now resigned to being replaced at the end of the season and Van Gaal is among the leading contenders to succeed him, along with Southampton’s Mauricio Pochettino.
Van Gaal has announced that he will step down as Holland coach after the World Cup finals and the 62-year-old has his employers’ blessing to negotiate his next move, although Spurs will need to reach an agreement with him by May 7 to ensure his appointment before the tournament starts.
He is spending his time travelling around Europe watching Dutch players and is likely to visit England. But he is ready to put his future on hold when the first batch of his World Cup players meet on May 7 and training for Brazil begins. Once all his players from various European leagues have joined the squad, Holland face Ecuador in a friendly in Amsterdam on May 17 before travelling to Portugal for warm-weather training three days later.
Van Gaal and his players return home for two games against Ghana on May 31 and Wales on June 4, before flying to their World Cup base in Rio.
While Van Gaal is the favourite to become Spurs’ head coach, there are still concerns inside White Hart Lane over his suitability for the job, his age and the fact that he could look for a better offer elsewhere, particularly if Manchester United sack David Moyes.
Daniel Levy, the Tottenham chairman, met Van Gaal before offering Sherwood an 18-month contract, but the club are re-evaluating the profile of head coach they want. A number of Spurs players are excited by the thought of 42-year-old Pochettino taking over, but fear that Levy will ultimately try to get a big name.