Tottenham target Arne Slot to stay at Feyenoord in blow to Spurs manager search
Tottenham managerial target Arne Slot has said he wants to stay at Feyenoord in a blow to Spurs and their under-pressure chairman Daniel Levy.
Spurs identified Slot as a leading candidate to succeed Antonio Conte after he led Feyenoord to the Eredivisie title in swashbuckling style.
The 44-year-old had hinted at his interest in the job but on Thursday said he wanted to build on his work at De Kuip. He insisted that a Wednesday meeting between his representative, Rafaela Pimenta, and the Dutch club's general manager, Dennis te Kloese, was to discuss a contract extension.
Slot said: “I have been hearing a lot of rumours going around about other clubs' interest in me. Although I am thankful, my wish is to stay at Feynoord and continue working on what we created last year.
"There is not - and there has not been - transfer conversations and yesterday’s meeting was exclusively for an extension. All talks with the club have always been only in that sense. I'm looking forward to next season with Feyenoord."
Slot has two years remaining on his Feyenoord deal and no release clause this summer, meaning Spurs would have had to negotiate a package with the Eredivisie club to release him.
According to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Feyenoord were demanding £17million in compensation for Slot and three members of his backroom team - assistants Marino Pusic and Sipke Hulshoff, and performance coach Ruben Peeters -which proved a stumbling block in Spurs' interest.
Slot rejected interest from Leeds in February and is now set to lead Feyenoord in next season's Champions League.
Spurs have now been without a permanent manager since Conte's departure by mutual agreement on March 27, and they have since had two acting head coaches in Cristian Stellini and Ryan Mason, who has been in charge for the last five games and will lead the team on the final day at Leeds this weekend.
Levy is also searching for a new director of football after the resignation of Fabio Paratici last month. Spurs have insisted they do not plan talks with out-of-work Julian Nagelsmann, who emerged as an early front-runner after his sacking by Bayern Munich in March, and did not approach former manager Mauricio Pochettino about a reunion. The Argentine is on the verge of joining rivals Chelsea.
Vincent Kompany was admired by Spurs but recently extended his contract with newly-promoted Burnley, while Bayer Leverkusen's Xabi Alonso and Sporting Lisbon coach Ruben Amorim, both of interest to Spurs, are on record saying they intend to stay at their clubs.
Spurs have interviewed former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique, who is out of work after being sacked by Spain following their World Cup elimination and interested in resuming his career in England. Enrique was understood to be the preferred candidate of Paratici before the Italian stepped down.
Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou and Brighton's Roberto De Zerbi have also been mooted as targets, although the latter may want to stay on the south coast after leading the Seagulls into the Europa League.
Brendan Rodgers and Graham Potter are both out of work and Premier League experienced, while Mason has thrown his hat into the ring for the permanent job.