Louis van Gaal’s move to Tottenham Hotspur this summer appears to be “a done deal,” former Netherlands captain Ruud Gullit has told the BBC.
• Crace: Chance to finish on a high
Van Gaal will be replaced by Guus Hiddink as Netherlands coach after this summer’s World Cup finals, and the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss has already indicated that he hopes to take a job in the Premier League.
The 62-year-old has been most strongly linked with the Spurs job, and ex-Chelsea boss Gullit told BBC 5 Live: “I know for sure the chairman of Tottenham [Daniel Levy] was at Van Gaal’s house. I think it's a done deal, but you never know.”
Spurs had appointed Tim Sherwood on an 18-month deal in December following the dismissal of Andre Villas-Boas but it appears his time in charge may be drawing to a close.
In an interview with The Independent, Sherwood said he accepted that he may soon be replaced but warned that the names touted as potential successors -- also including Ajax’s Frank De Boer and Southampton’s Mauricio Pochettino -- could struggle.
“He [Levy] wants the club to do well,” he said. “He really, really does. He cares for the club, and I believe he wants me to do well. I would like it [the contract] to be 10 years but I am realistic enough to know this is a dress rehearsal. I am untried.
“What I would say is there is no guarantee [about the alternatives]. Someone could win 19 trophies elsewhere and they might not fit at Tottenham. The club has to fit the manager and you don’t know until you bring them in. But they have a better idea with me than with anyone else.”
Sherwood indicated that he would like to be given the chance to make changes to the squad he had inherited, which including a host of summer signings brought in after the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid.
“They are all internationals, but it is like fixing a washing machine with someone else’s tool bag,” he said. “Sometimes you might not have the right bit in there.”
Sherwood did some work as a TV pundit before he became Spurs head coach and, while some of the criticism of him has been stinging in his brief stint as a Premier League manager, he accepts such abuse is all part of the job.
“A lot of them [media pundits] are ex-players and they can comment on players,” he added. “What a lot of them have never been is a manager. I used to comment on managers all the time: ‘He has done this wrong, etc.’ Until you have been there, it is impossible to know what it is like to carry the expectancy of the whole club.
“The spotlight is on you and you have to deliver. I love it. It is a challenge. I always say my life would be a lot easier if I weren’t a manager. That’s why it is good, I don’t have to do it. I want to put myself through it and that is why I respect a lot of managers. Harry [Redknapp] is still cracking on doing it. Why? It’s something in us all, to want the next challenge.”
His public criticism of his players following their 4-0 defeat at Chelsea earlier this month also raised questions as to whether he was the right man for the job, but he said: “What people have to worry about is if I stop shouting at them -- because I have given up on them. I think you get more impact when you praise them from the contrast.
“I would never criticise anyone for playing badly. I don’t think that’s right. That reason for doing it at Chelsea was it had happened under Andre too. You cannot capitulate like that. Something is not right. The response has been good.”