LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur are closing in on Mauricio Pochettino as their ninth manager in 13 years – not counting two caretakers.

The Southampton manager has earned a great deal of admiration for his work at St Mary’s, particularly after his surprise appointment which upset many fans at the time.

Pochettino, born on March 2, 1972, in Santa Fe, Argentina, played for Newell’s Old Boys, Espanyol, Paris Saint-Germain and Bordeaux, scoring two goals in 20 internationals. He then led Espanyol to success in the Spanish cup in both 2000 and 2006.

Spurs had been linked previously with a move for Ajax coach Frank De Boer but Pochettino.

The Argentinian said earlier this month that he was set to discuss his future at the end of the season, which started speculation he was to leave St Mary’s.

He has one year remaining on his Southampton contract but wanted answers from the new board over the direction of the club before committing his future.

** Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has signed a long-term contract extension.