Louis van Gaal is the clear frontrunner to succeed sacked Tottenham manager Andre villa-Boas, BT Sport understands.    

Early talks have already taken place between Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy and the experienced Dutchman van Gaal, who will manage his national team at next summer's World Cup.

Villas-Boas was sacked by Levy last week following the 5-0 defeat against Liverpool. Glenn Hoddle, the former Tottenham manager, Fabio Capello, and Rafael Benitez have all been linked with the White Hart Lane role, but Levy has installed van Gaal at the top of his wishlist.

The former Ajax and Barcelona coach is among the most respected figures in European football, and he would bring an admirable CV to the Premier League. However, his contract with Holland does not expire until after the World Cup, and he is unwilling to consider a job share arrangement for the rest of the season.

So if Tottenham are willing to wait until the end of the season to land their prime target, an interim manager would be sought.

Tim Sherwood, who led the team to a 3-2 victory against Southampton, would be a candidate for that position, while Hoddle could also be a target should Levy decide to wait for Van Gaal.

Levy was conspicuous by his absence from St Mary's as Spurs beat Mauricio Pochettino's Southampton. Sources suggest that Levy was in Holland for talks with van Gaal.

“Everyone who knows me, knows I won’t do a job share,” van Gaal said yesterday.

“I’ve always said I want to work in the Premier League, so there’s a chance. But there are times a deal is announced and there are times it’s in preparation. At that time, there’s no time for media.”

Sherwood, meanwhile, is already pushing his case to be appointed permanently.

"The ideal thing for me is to have a chat with the chairman and see what’s best for the football club moving forward,” the 44-year-old Sherwood said.

“I need to know what they’re thinking. I don’t want this job for five minutes. That’s no interest to me. Are we going to move it forward or not? There are some great candidates out there for this job. It’s a massive club with history and tradition. But whatever happens needs to be right for me, too.”