Tottenham Hotspur expected to appoint Mauricio Pochettino this week

Argentinian to be named as replacement for Tim Sherwood, who was sacked by Daniel Levy at the end of the season after less than a year in job

Tottenham Hotspur are expected to appoint Mauricio Pochettino as their new manager this week after Southampton failed to convince the Argentinian that they can push on to the next level.

A deal to bring Pochettino to White Hart Lane is nearing completion and those close to the negotiations believe it is a formality that he will be named as the replacement for Tim Sherwood, who was sacked by Daniel Levy at the end of the season after less than a year in the job. It is also understood that Franco Baldini's position as Tottenham's technical director is in doubt. The Italian's reputation has suffered after the club's extensive dealings in the transfer market last summer produced mixed results.

Although Tottenham have also been closely linked with the Ajax manager, Frank de Boer, they have been monitoring Pochettino's progress for a while and expressed their interest in him to Southampton. Talks have been continuing behind the scenes over the past fortnight.

Southampton have been desperate to hold on to Pochettino and have held talks with the 42-year-old since the end of the season in an attempt to dissuade him from leaving.


New contract They had been hopeful that he would sign a new contract, yet Pochettino's mind was made up after Southampton were unable to provide him with assurances that they would be able to keep their best players and try to break into the elite after finishing eighth last season, two places below Tottenham.

Pochettino believes that his ambition cannot be satisfied at St Mary’s and that he would be better served by joining Tottenham, who have the foundations in place to provide him with the resources to challenge for a place in the top four.

Pochettino's departure has been on the cards ever since Nicola Cortese resigned as Southampton's executive chairman in January. Cortese was instrumental in bringing Pochettino to England 16 months ago and the pair are close.

Pochettino threatened to resign when Cortese’s position came under threat last year, saying that he could not imagine Southampton without the Italian, and he has been coy when questioned about his future over the past four months.

Attracting admirers Southampton could be forgiven for feeling that they are victims of their own success. Their impressive performances have led to their players attracting admirers from elsewhere, and the challenge for the club's owner, Katharina Liebherr, and Cortese's replacement, Ralph Krueger, is to ensure that an exciting young team is not broken up prematurely.

Yet they are vulnerable to offers for players such as Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw. Lallana, their captain and talisman, is close to joining Liverpool, and losing him would be a major blow, while Manchester United are ready to pay €37m for Shaw, although there are doubts over that deal and other clubs, including Chelsea, are monitoring the situation. Guardian Service