Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy has given up on making Louis van Gaal the next Spurs boss and will now turn his attention to persuading Saints supremo Mauricio Pochettino to take charge at White Hart Lane next season, according to The Mirror.
Levy had been lining up a deal to bring Van Gaal to North London for much of 2014, but Manchester United appear to have persuaded the former Barcelona and Ajax tactician to take on a huge rebuilding project at Old Trafford.
With their top target out of reach Levy is now ready to begin work on luring Pochettino away from the South Coast, hoping to take advantage of lingering speculation surrounding a number of Southampton's star performers this season.
Saints captain Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, Callum Chambers and Jay Rodriguez are all being courted by a string of the Premier League's top sides, with new chairman Ralph Krueger facing a massive task to keep an exciting young side together and Pochettino at the helm.
Pochettino will decide his future this summer once he learns how determined Saints are to build on the momentum of their best-ever Premier League campaign, but Spurs believe there is room for manoeuvre to snatch the former Argentine international as Tim Sherwood's long-term replacement in North London.
The 42-year-old has just over a year left on his current Saints contract, which makes this summer pivotal in terms of clarifying his future for better or worse after 15 fantastic months at St Mary's.