Tottenham Hotspur have approached Jose Mourinho to canvas his interest in becoming their next manager.
Daniel Levy, the club's chairman, has been working on a succession plan for Harry Redknapp and considers Mourinho, twice the winning coach in both the Champions League and Premier League, the ideal appointment.
As The National detailed last week, Mourinho has taken the decision to leave Real Madrid at the end of the season and return to England. The Portuguese has grown tired of external criticism of, and internal resistance to, his leadership of Real despite establishing a seven-point advantage over Barcelona in the Spanish Primera Liga and posting a perfect six-win record in the group stage of the Champions League.
With the possibility of more than one position opening up at England's top six clubs, Mourinho will not commit himself to any at this point. He is, however, intrigued by the idea of returning the domestic title to Tottenham following an interval of more than 50 years - a similar hiatus to the one he terminated as Chelsea's manager.
Levy has attempted to employ Mourinho before, immediately offering him Martin Jol's job upon the coach's dismissal by Chelsea in 2007.
Though Tottenham are enjoying their most successful season in the Premier League, their chairman has been preparing for Redknapp's potential exit for months, lining up Carlo Ancelotti for the post before the Italian joined Paris Saint-Germain.
Redknapp, meanwhile, has repeatedly stated his interest in following Fabio Capello as England manager should the position be offered to him. His ongoing trial for tax evasion has been a source of embarrassment.
Though his salary at Real - €10 million (Dh48.3m), after tax - is far beyond anything Tottenham have paid before, Mourinho has indicated that financial reward will not be the main consideration. Instead, he is more interested in the quality of a club's project and receiving full support for his management.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have confirmed that they are monitoring the progress of the Benfica holding midfielder Javi Garcia.
"Javi Garcia is an interesting player," the Arsenal scout Gilles Grimandi told the Portuguese daily O Jogo. "I have watched him several times … The club's policy is to hire players with a good compromise between cost and quality and who are able to evolve still further and Benfica have several players in that situation."
Elsewhere, Ken Bates, the Leeds United chairman, is to decide this week whether to appoint one of the several former Premier League managers to have applied for the vacant position or to recruit a younger coach from another Football League club. Steve Bruce, Dave Jones and Neil Warnock are among the out-of-work managers to have expressed their interest in replacing Simon Grayson, who Bates dismissed last week.
Leeds have also been impressed by the progress of Chris Powell, Lee Clark and Karl Robinson at Charlton Athletic, Huddersfield Town and MK Dons, respectively.