Andre Villas-Boas has emerged as a shock contender to succeed Jose Mourinho as Real Madrid manager, with some bookmakers in Britain listing the Tottenham boss as an odds-on pick to take over at the Bernabeu this summer.
Paris Saint-Germain boss Carlo Ancelotti has been the long-term favourite to replace Mourinho in the Spanish capital, with many observers believing he may be about to complete a job swap that will see Mourinho take his post in Paris.
Yet the vibes coming out of the PSG camp in recent days have suggested that Ancelotti is set to cling onto his current job, sparking speculation that Bernabeu chiefs may be looking at alternative options ahead of Mourinho’s expected departure.
Swansea boss Michael Laudrup and outgoing Bayern Munich chief Jupp Heynckes have been mentioned as possible contenders for the Real Madrid post, but it is the links with Villas-Boas that will come as something of a surprise development.
Having failed to make his mark during a turbulent stint in charge at Chelsea last season, 35-year-old Villas-Boas has impressed in his first season as Tottenham manager, even though his side are in danger of missing out on the top four finish they have been targeting.
So often compared to his former mentor Mourinho, whom he worked with at FC Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan, the latest reports in the English press suggest Villas Boas's efforts this season have impressed Real Madrid officials.
If the odds makers are to be believed, the Portuguese tactician may yet be handed a tempting offer to leave Tottenham this summer.