The situation at Tottenham is so bad that Jose Mourinho is seeing it as a potential entry point into his return to coaching at the highest levels.
Mourinho has been out of work since being sacked by Manchester United last December, less than a year into a new contract that was due to run until 2020.
Spurs are among the clubs that appeal to the Portuguese manager. Real Madrid, coached by Zinedine Zidane, are another and Mourinho remains in contact and on good terms with club president Florentino Perez.
Mourinho, 56, is prepared to bide his time and wait for the ideal opportunity. He has been working predominantly as a TV pundit and joined Sky ahead of the season.
He has declined offers at former club Benfica and a £90million proposal from Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande.
He said: ‘I have to be patient and wait for the right opportunity and the right opportunity is one that is at the same size and the same level that I am as a manager. I have to wait for the exact right one.’
Tottenham’s disappointing start has cast doubt over the future of manager Mauricio Pochettino.
The club have no plans to sack Pochettino, who has been in charge since 2014 and whose deal runs until 2023. He also comes with a £32m price tag which neither United and Madrid are prepared to pay.
Pochettino, 47, insisted after Spurs’ 3-0 defeat at Brighton: ‘We need to find a way to stay together and be all together again and find a good dynamic.’
However, as revealed before, Spurs players note Pochettino has cut a distant figure, sparking fears that he is looking for a way out