AMID the bombardment of so-called “informed” reports and hysterical speculation surrounding Ange Postecoglou and the vacant Spurs manager’s position, there remains one unasked question.

Why did Dutch coach Arne Slot knock back the North London team to remain at Feyenoord?

No-one has denied he was high on the priority list of candidates earmarked by Spurs as a successor to Antonio Conte who got the boot in March as the team maintained a steady course towards European oblivion, a fact endorsed by their dismal eighth-placed finish in the Premier League.

Slot, who has just won the Eredivisie title with the Rotterdam outfit, was named alongside Xabi Alonso, Vincent Kompany and Julian Nagelsmann in the first wave of contenders for what is commonly known in football circles as a poisoned chalice.

But, once the frenzy of will-he-or-won’t-he had hit a brickwall, Slot had clearly made up his mind to stay put.

DOUBLE-TAKE…Ange Postecoglou salutes the Celtic fans after receiving his second successive Premiership title and Arne Slot (below) does likewise with the Feyenoord support following the club’s Eredivisie success.

I doubt if Feyenoord have far superior financial clout than Celtic and, like the Parkhead club, they are not the fortunate benefactors of enormous annual cash windfalls from Sky Sports or the lucrative spin-offs.

On matchdays, they perform in the De Kuip stadium with a full-house capacity of 51,177, which is 9,234 paying customers short of the number who can turn up at Celtic Park.

The club have already negotiated a new contract with Slot which will take him into the £2.5million-per-year bracket to remain in place until mid-2026 at least.

My information is that Postecoglou is already earning more than that with the Scottish champions.

So, with all that in mind, it leads us back to the original question: Why did Slot say no to Spurs?

I wondered if perhaps he had a strong affiliation with Feyenoord. I have to confess I knew the sum total of zilch of the individual’s playing career. As far as I am aware, he never kicked a ball at international level and his journey through the clubs as a midfielder of little repute took him to PEC Zwolle, NAC Breda and Sparta Rotterdam.

After playing, Slot became youth coach at Zwolle in 2013 before eventually working his way up through the ranks to head coach at AZ six years later. At the start of December 2020, he was sacked and a week or so later took over at Feyenord from veteran gaffer Dick Advocaat and in his first full year in charge the team finished third, behind Ajax and PSV.

STRIP, STRIP HOORAY…Ange Postecoglou speaks to Celtic TV.

It was obvious Slot was deriving great pleasure in building a Rotterdam side in his image with a brand new style of play. He was enjoying the cut and thrust of the transfer market, despite financial restrictions. One year later, a national league title was proof of his convictions. Remind you of anyone?

So, for the last time, why did Slot kick Spurs’ interest and massive pay hike into touch?

After signing his new deal, he stated: “We are going to play in the Champions League, which I’ve never done before as a player and as a coach. The club is in a real good place.

“And I want to work longer on the project to see what comes from that, because you can every time leave somewhere after one or two successful seasons, but, in the end, where and what are you then?

“So, sometimes you also have to cherish what you have.

“There’s more to life and to football than only winning a prize. It is also the way you work.

“It’s not always that you come into the place where you can work like we can here and be happy, professional-wise but also family-wise.”

So, Slot’s head has not been turned by the lure of more money in his personal account, bigger budgets and superior players in a league that is often – and erroneously – labelled the best and most competitive in the world.

That’ll be the same league that has been won five times in the past six seasons by the same team, Manchester City.

The same top flight that welcomed promoted clubs Fulham, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest at the start of the campaign and all three will still be in place to contest the new season. Perhaps the chasm between the Premier League and the second tier is not as wide as some would have you believe.

I DID IT MY WAY…Ange Postecoglou with the microphone at Parkhead on Flag Day.

Actually, you do get used to the incessant claptrap that emanates from the other side of Hadrian’s Wall. There are folk down there who don’t have a clue what happens beyond Watford.

Now we await the next move from North London with reports, informed or otherwise, claiming Postecoglou will meet Daniel Levy, the Spurs head honcho, on Monday.

Mind you, a whole new parade of names are now flying about like confetti in a storm and former River Plate head coach Marcelo Gallardo has been introduced to proceedings while there are continued murmurs concerning one-time Barcelona and Spain boss Luis Enrique, Brighton’s Robert De Zerbi and Fulham’s Marco Silva.

At this rate, I’ll be more than a little peeved if I don’t get a mention.

In the meantime, Postecoglou has the little matter of a Scottish Cup Final at Hampden this evening to keep his mind occupied.

In the media scrum in the countdown to Hampden, the Celtic manager was asked the pointed question if there had been conversations with his representatives about Spurs.

“No,” he replied. “I know you find that surprising. I haven’t spoken to them about a million other things going on here, as well. It’s not just about me. This football club is planning for next year, planning to bring players in.

“There is a full range of conversations going on, but my focus is on making sure we win a game of football which is very, very important to us.”

I wouldn’t dare bring Postecoglou’s veracity into question.

I just can’t help wondering if, like Arne Slot, he will be totally engrossed in the Champions League draw when it is made on August 31.

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