Tottenham prepare for Man Utd Mauricio Pochettino bid by targeting Eddie Howe

Pochettino is United's first choice to replace Jose Mourinho and the Old Trafford club are prepared to fork out £40million to get their man in the summer.

Spurs are desperate to keep hold of their 46-year-old boss who has been an integral part in turning the club into one of the top sides in England.

But after Pochettino refused to rule himself out of the running for the United job yesterday, they club know they face a battle on their hands to keep hold of the Argentinian.

And chairman Daniel Levy is also well aware that Pochettino's work in North London could one day see him picked off by one of the big clubs – with Real Madrid also circling.

So Levy and the Spurs board have already begun work on highlighting potential replacements, and the Mail say it is Bournemouth boss Howe who is top of their list.

The 41-year-old has built up a reputation as one of the best young coaches in the country on the back of his brilliant work with the Cherries.

And Spurs see a lot of similarities in the way Howe has nurtured his squad over a period of time to turn them from EFL minnows to a solid Premier League club.

It was a similar job Pochettino did at Southampton that first persuaded Spurs to go for him in 2014.

So Howe's ability to develop players, work with a budget and achieve results playing entertaining football has seen him highlighted as the ideal successor.

Bournemouth would fight tooth and nail to keep hold of their manager, but recognise his growing reputation within the game.

And should Pochettino be prised away to United, Levy would come armed with a sizeable compensation package to make a serious effort to force the Cherries to accept.

Though happy on the South Coast, Howe is fiercely ambitious and the chance to take the next step and coach in the Champions League would be hard to resist.

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