Tottenham: Mauricio Pochettino and Daniel Levy face drawn-out divorce

19 November 2019, 13:50 | Updated: 19 November 2019, 15:33

Mauricio Pochettino could face a long, drawn-out divorce from Tottenham as the pressure to arrest his team’s dramatic decline intensifies.

Tottenham sit 14th in the Premier League and head for West Ham on Saturday without an away win since January.

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If Pochettino's days at Tottenham's iconic new stadium are numbered, the stage is set for a Mexican stand-off, with chairman Daniel Levy and the manager waiting for the other to blink first.

A stalemate remains in N17

Less than six months ago, Levy was fighting to keep his manager from the clutches of Manchester United and Real Madrid.

Now, with relations described by one club source as "strained", Levy has to balance the need for change with the prospect of paying out a reported £12.5m in compensation to sack a manager who has more than three years left on his current deal.

With a number of top clubs across Europe considering a managerial change, Levy knows that an approach for Pochettino could come soon.

Meanwhile, those looking to land the Argentine know that a shrewd waiting game could save them millions.

Pochettino, meanwhile, looks unlikely to walk away from the money due - and so a stalemate remains in N17.

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One option for Levy would be to put the 47-year-old on gardening leave - as he did previously with Tottenham's chief talent spotter Paul Mitchell, prior to his move to RB Leipzig.

Levy could then bring in a new manager to breathe life into a campaign already in dire straits after just 12 games and still have the prospect of a club needing to pay compensation for Pochettino's services.

These scenarios are a lifetime away from June 1, just 123 days ago, when Pochettino proudly lined up his side to face Liverpool in the Champions League final.

The manager revealed his frustrations with the transfer business done in the summer and held clear-the-air talks with Levy earlier in the season as a poor start turned into a dire one.

For now, Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks likely to be given until January at least before Ed Woodward considers a change of course.

Having previously been seen as a shoo-in for the United job, Pochettino would - by then - be considered as a possible choice rather than the definite candidate he was a few short months ago.