The Seville manager Juande Ramos is at the top of Tottenham Hotspur's wanted list if Martin Jol's season goes from bad to worse this weekend. The Spurs manager is under pressure to turn his club's season around at home today against Derby County if he is not to leave his board with a difficult decision to make.
Failure to win today would sharpen the intentions of the Spurs hierarchy. They have been impressed by Ramos, 52, who has come to prominence with two Uefa Cup victories with Seville in the last two seasons. The Spanish season does not start until tomorrow and any move would involve negotiating with the club's famously tough-dealing president, Jose Maria del Nido.
It appears that Jol is once again at a crossroads with his Spurs career, as he was in February when a 4-0 victory over Fulham turned around a season that was going badly wrong. He was told by chairman Daniel Levy on Wednesday in no uncertain terms that he needed to stop the slump quickly. Should a drastic decision need to be made, Spurs have the benefit of the forthcoming international break in September.
Ramos has managed 10 clubs in 15 years but has only recently gained attention across Europe for his achievements with Seville, who are currently in negotiations to sell their Brazilian right-back Daniel Alves to Chelsea. After losing Sergio Ramos and Julio Baptista to Real Madrid, Ramos won the Uefa Cup in his first season by thrashing Steve McClaren's Middlesbrough 4-0 in the final.
An English speaker, he outlined his desire to work in England last season when he was identified as a potential replacement for Jose Mourinho at Chelsea. "I want to be challenging for the Champions League with one of the big clubs. England is the perfect place to work in football," he said. "It's a country I like a lot. I love the intensity and emotion of the game and the fact that grounds are always full."
Meanwhile, Dimitar Berbatov, who has a groin injury, has been named in the Bulgaria squad, raising hopes of a return to action for the Manchester United game a week on Sunday.