Tottenham Hotspur have earmarked Chelsea target Luis Enrique as a top candidate to take up their vacant managerial role, according to the Telegraph.
The former Spain boss has already held talks with the club, who are keen to complete an exhaustive search for a new manager before making an appointment.
Enrique is keen on the Chelsea job and wanted to take charge immediately amid the prospect of facing Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals.
However, the club’s bosses resisted, preferring to appoint a manager during the summer, and they will now face competition from local rivals Tottenham for Enrique’s services.
They have ramped up their efforts to appoint a permanent successor to Antonio Conte and are planning to initiate contact with Enrique as early as this week.
Enrique has already made his intentions to ply his trade in the Premier League public and is keen on the Chelsea job, so it remains to be seen if Spurs can convince him to move to north London instead.
Chelsea and Tottenham are also interested in former Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann, who the Blues have also interviewed.
The 35-year-old is highly thought of amongst members of the Chelsea hierarchy, having worked with some in his previous clubs while his agency also has a good rapport with the club.
While the west Londoners are reportedly wary of Nagelsmann’s age, it is understood the German tactician favours a move to Stamford Bridge over joining Spurs.
Enrique is a free agent while Nagelsmann remains on Bayern’s payroll, so a move for the German will involve paying a buyout clause to the Bundesliga champions – although he favours waiting until the summer before joining a new club.
Tottenham have named Cristian Stellini as interim boss until a permanent successor to Conte is appointed.
The Italian has won just one of his three games in charge, drawing and losing the other two, leaving the top four hopefuls in fifth place, three points behind Newcastle United, having played one more game.
- Leicester City release seven players following drop into Championship
- AC Milan reject €60 million from Chelsea for Mike Maignan
- Nacho close to Madrid contract renewal in blow to Inter Milan
- Chelsea sign teenage star Kendry Paez
- Leicester want at least £40m for Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle target James Maddison