by John Cross
David Moyes is Tottenham’s number one managerial target after Harry Redknapp negotiated his way out of the White Hart Lane hot-seat.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has identified Everton boss Moyes as his most-wanted, ahead of Roberto Martinez, Andre Villas-Boas and surprise package Jurgen Klinsmann, to succeed Redknapp.
Levy and Redknapp met, and talks continued into Wednesday night, centred on reaching agreement on the manager’s severance package from the 12 months remaining on his £3million-a-year contract.
The rumour mill declared him finished – some saying he had been sacked – and Tottenham players were informed that he would be departing.
Redknapp, who has twice led Spurs to their highest finish during the Premier League era, has steadfastly refused to resign, but felt the club’s hierarchy wanted him out after they refused to extend his contract.
It is a remarkable reversal of fortunes for a man who, just 45 days ago, was the hottest property in football – a hero to Tottenham fans and seemingly a shoo-in to succeed Fabio Capello in the England job.
The final dispute was just the latest in a long line of disagreements between Redknapp and Levy, whose relationship was put under immense strain following Tottenham’s end-of-season collapse, which coincided with Redknapp being in for the England job.
Redknapp feared the worst after Spurs missed out on a Champions League place, and it quickly became clear Levy would not offer him a new contract and, at best, would allow him to go into the final year of his contract.
But another blow came when the manager wanted to start making plans for next season to find Spurs were nervous about releasing funds for targets amid uncertainty over the manager’s future.
Redknapp is a target for a Middle East consortium who are lining up a job in Qatar, but it may be that he takes a break after a stressful year which saw him miss out to Roy Hodgson for the England gig, win a high-profile tax case in court and undergo a heart operation.
Tottenham are now looking to the future, and Moyes is back on their radar having long been touted as their choice.
Levy had lined up then-Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers when they thought Redknapp was going to get the England job, but he has since taken over at Liverpool.
Moyes, who also has 12 months left on his deal, is currently on holiday in the US.
It is believed the highly-regarded Scot is up for a new challenge after a decade at Everton, who continually have to sell before they can buy.
The Toffees’ left-back Leighton Baines and midfielder Marouane Fellaini are this summer’s likely departures – with, respectively, Manchester United and Chelsea keen – and there is a feeling Moyes may have taken them as far as possible.
Wigan boss Martinez is also in the frame after keeping the Latics in the Premier League again while employing a style of play that suits the Spurs philosophy.
Villas-Boas is another candidate despite his turbulent nine-month spell at Chelsea.
Another former Chelsea boss, Carlo Ancelotti, also fancied the job before taking over at oil-rich, Champions League-bound Paris Saint-Germain.