MAURICIO POCHETTINO was ruthlessly axed by Spurs last night after losing the dressing room.
Not a single Tottenham player was aware of his sacking until the club released a statement at 7.34pm.
Jose Mourinho and Max Allegri want the job after Spurs chairman Daniel Levy ended Poch’s 5½-year reign.
And SunSport can reveal:
- Many Spurs players have lost respect for the Argentine for refusing to discuss team selection with them and his increasing absence from training.
- The board believe Poch, 47, engineered his own sacking.
- Levy hopes Poch’s exit will persuade contract rebels to stay.
Former Manchester United boss Mourinho, 56, wants the job and has alerted his coaching staff to be ready for Saturday’s lunchtime clash clash at capital rivals West Ham.
However, former Juventus boss Allegri, 52, is also very keen and has already ordered his backroom staff to learn English.
Poch’s sacking stunned football, with Tottenham legend Gary Lineker tweeting: “He helped the club to punch massively above their weight for years.
“Good luck with finding a better replacement….ain’t gonna happen.”
His departure came just hours after the club’s England midfielder Harry Winks had paid a glowing tribute to Pochettino.
Spurs are set to fork out the £12.5million left on his contract after signing a five-year £8.5m deal a year only last summer.
Poch’s coaching staff of Jesus Perez, Miguel D’Agostino and Toni Jimenez, were also shown the door.
In the club’s statement Levy, said: “We were extremely reluctant to make this change and it is not a decision the Board has taken lightly, nor in haste. Regrettably domestic results at the end of last season and beginning of this season have been extremely disappointing.”
Spurs are languishing in 14th spot in the Prem and were dumped out of the Carabao Cup by League Two Colchester.
They also suffered a record-breaking 7-2 home Champions League defeat by Bayern Munich.
Poch had spent a whopping £353.8m during his time in charge.
Spurs academy coach Bradley Allen admitted: “I’m tremendously disappointed.
“It’s really sad it’s come to this. You have to realise the job he’s done. Getting us to the Champions League final was an amazing achievement.”
Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust issued a damning statement which took a swipe at the board’s decision to sack the Argentine.
It read: “We’re shocked and saddened. Poch gave us many of our best moments as supporters, made Tottenham a force to be reckoned with again and forged a strong link with the fans.
“Many of us thought he had earned the right to turn it around in the first sustained period of poor form we’ve had during his time at the club.
“There are questions that must be asked of the board. Why was this decision taken at the end rather than the beginning of the international break?
“We question whether the timing of the decision leaves the club with much choice in who takes over.
“And is the manager solely accountable? How much has the board’s line on wages and transfers contributed to player unrest and disaffection?
“How much did it contribute to the situation we now find ourselves in? And will it change to help support a new manager?”
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However, the majority of players had started to dislike Pochettino, with insiders claiming his door was always shut for them.
It is understood some of the players would love former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti — now at Napoli — but Mourinho is the bookies’ odds-on favourite.
And Levy would not need to pay a compensation fee for the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss as he is without a club.