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Tottenham target Xabi Alonso as search for new manager continues

Bayer Leverkusen's Xabi Alonso has emerged as a target for Tottenham; Spurs admire former Liverpool midfielder, who has led Leverkusen to sixth in the Bundesliga; north London club also impressed with Vincent Kompany; Julien Nagelsmann remains in running for job

Xabi Alonso
Image: Bayer Leverkusen head coach Xabi Alonso has emerged as a candidate to take over at Tottenham

Bayer Leverkusen head coach Xabi Alonso has emerged as a target for Tottenham as they search for a new permanent manager.

Sky Sports News understands key figures at Spurs admire the former Liverpool midfielder, who took over at Bayer Leverkusen in October.

In that time he has led the German club from relegation contenders to sixth in the Bundesliga and the semi-finals of the Europa League where they will face Jose Mourinho's Roma.

Xavi Alonso

Spurs are also impressed by Vincent Kompany, who has guided Burnley back into the Premier League as Championship winners this season.

Meanwhile, former Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann, who has also been linked with a move to Chelsea, is another key name under discussion at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and remains in the running for the job.

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Speaking on Back Pages Tonight, Mark Ogden and Shebahn Aherne debate whether Julian Nagelsmann would be a good fit for Tottenham if they decide to part company with Antonio Conte.

Spurs have yet to appoint a permanent successor to Antonio Conte, who left in March after a difficult end to his time in North London. Interim boss Cristian Stellini has already been and gone, with Ryan Mason now in a second spell in caretaker charge.

He will remain in charge at Spurs until the summer.

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A run of four games without a win has seen Spurs' hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League slip away.

They sit sixth in the table, two points behind Liverpool in fifth having played a game more and seven points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester United, who have two games in hand on the north London club.

They also face a battle to qualify for either the Europa League or the Europa Conference League with Aston Villa, Brighton and Brentford still with hopes of securing European football.

Inside Xabi Alonso's start at Leverkusen

Bayer Leverkusen head coach Xabi Alonso

"It is true that Xabi did not have the experience as a head coach at this level and also in this situation," Bayer Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes tells Sky Sports. "But, for me, it is always important to consider the quality of the head coach and I just knew that he had the quality to improve the team.

The story of Xabi Alonso's appointment at Bayer Leverkusen and the rebuild that this rookie coach tipped for the top is trying to mastermind.

Inside Xabi Alonso's start at Leverkusen
Inside Xabi Alonso's start at Leverkusen

On a visit to Bayer Leverkusen, we go inside Xabi Alonso's first big managerial role to find out more about the situation he inherited at the Bundesliga club.

'Next managerial appointment at Spurs has to be spot on'

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Gary Neville analyses Tottenham's disastrous start and finish as they lost a dramatic game at Anfield 4-3 following Diogo Jota's last-gasp winner for Liverpool.

Gary Neville speaking after Tottenham's 4-3 defeat to Liverpool last Sunday:

"They are all over the place. Spurs are an absolute shambles at the back.

"A lot of the Spurs players are on a lot of money. But they may as well set up a direct debit to the fans," he added, reflecting on the fact the club could be on their way to refunding their travelling support for the second week in a row.

"I didn't expect this [on Sunday], after what happened in midweek against Man Utd," said Neville. "I thought coming back in that game would leave them in better shape mentally coming to Anfield. This season on and off the pitch has been really bad.

"At one point in the season they were third in the league, in the Champions League, what more could they have asked for, and Levy and [former boss Antonio] Conte are basically standing off against each other.

"It was always going to happen. He's appointed three confrontational managers on the bounce. About five, six years ago they were in the Champions League final, they were second in the league, they'd appointed Mauricio Pochettino, they played great football.

"They had just come off the back of Harry Redknapp, they're building a world-class stadium, you've got a world-class training ground and then all of a sudden the appointment of managers, in terms of the alignment to the club over the last few years has been absolutely shambolic.

"Once Conte left, that rant [at Southampton] just ripped a hole in the club. That's what Conte does. Levy now is under massive pressure.

"The next managerial appointment - you're always going to say this - has to be spot on."

Rangnick: Nagelsmann should go to Tottenham

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Ralf Rangnick has suggested Julian Nagelsmann should take over at Tottenham but would benefit from working with a sporting director.

Last week, Ralf Rangnick has suggested Julian Nagelsmann should go for the Tottenham job.

The ex-Manchester United manager, who mentored Nagelsmann at Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig, believes Spurs have the right setup - but he would benefit with a sporting director with him.

Rangnick was sporting director for the Red Bull franchise of clubs, including Leipzig and Salzburg, between 2012 and 2015 and then again from 2019 to 2020.

"I think Tottenham is an exciting club in many ways," Rangnick said in the Sky Germany studio.

"They probably have one of the most modern, beautiful stadiums in the world at the moment. They have one of the best training centres, that is there at the moment and Daniel Levy, who has been leading the club for many, many years."

"Although he is not a big spender, he knows the football business and would not put himself in the centre of the cameras.

"If Tottenham really want him, then I think it would be important if a sporting director was still there to support him."

"It can be a very, very exciting story. There is room for improvement, a lot of room for improvement and yet this is not a club where the house expects you to be in the top one or two right away."

Nagelsmann: The 'young, loud, mastermind' in Spurs & Chelsea's sights
Nagelsmann: The 'young, loud, mastermind' in Spurs & Chelsea's sights

Julian Nagelsmann's sacking by Bayern Munich shocked German football - but he will not be short on offers when he wants to return to the dugout. Here's why...

Tottenham's remaining fixtures

May 6: Crystal Palace (H) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

May 13: Aston Villa (A) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

May 20: Brentford (H) - Premier League, kick-off 12.30pm

May 28: Leeds (A) - Premier League, kick off 4.30pm

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