Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas was fired on Monday and the team has apparently zeroed in on United States national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann to replace him. But the United States Soccer Federation is certain Klinsmann is staying put after signing him to a long-term contract extension.
Klinsmann had a wildly successful run at Tottenham as a player from 1994-95, as he scored 21 goals in 41 appearances. He then spent time there on loan from Sampodoria from 1997-98, where he scored nine goals in 15 matches. He has strong ties to White Hart Lane, but it doesn’t appear he’s up for a reunion at this point.
U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati essentially warned Tottenham and other teams to stay away from Klinsmann (Switzerland is also interested).
Gulati said signing Klinsmann to an extension was not just about a threat from club teams, but the need for a commitment from him. His comments follow:
“We (are) not oblivious to the fact Jurgen’s success has attracted interest from outside the US. Therefore there were pragmatic market considerations in offering him a new long-term contract.
“It’s not specifically the Switzerland or Tottenham issues, but the desire to have a commitment from him, contractually, for a long time is vital.”
Tottenham is struggling this season with a record of 8-5-3, which is good for just 27 points and seventh place in the Barclays Premier League. Villas-Boas was fired after Spurs suffered a 5-0 loss at home to Liverpool on Sunday.
While Tottenham is a nice, big-name job for a manager to land, Klinsmann is deeply tied to the U.S. He has lived in Huntington Beach, California for the past 15 years and now identifies as much with America as with his native Germany.
It would be an absolute shock if Klinsmann stepped away from the U.S. men’s national team job of his own volition. He loves the gig and had been interested in it for years before he was hired.