CRISIS club Tottenham are set to break the Bank of England to land Leeds' supremo George Graham as their new manager. If any convincing was needed, Spurs' chairman Alan Sugar was reassured that Graham was the preferred candidate for the White Hart Lane hotseat when Leeds topped the Premier League briefly in midweek after their 3-0 win over Southampton. Sugar will now try to prise the rehabilitated manager away from the Yorkshire club, with a sum not unadjacent to ?6 million being mentioned in compensation to Leeds and a war chest of transfer cash being made available to the former Arsenal manager. Spurs fans may initially balk at the thought of Graham, once the very successful manager of their arch-rivals at Highbury taking the reins, but success on the field is more important than wounded pride and Tottenham need to address both areas swiftly. Graham, though, may not be as easy a catch as Sugar imagines and looming large on the flank is another latterday Spurs' hero, the German ace Jurgen Klinsmann. In a restricted fans' poll conducted in London, with four candidates for the manager's job on offer, Klinsmann polled 46 per cent of the vote; Graham 39 per cent; Wimbledon manager Joe Kinnear nine per cent and current England boss Glenn Hoddle six per cent. Klinsmann, Kinnear and Hoddle are all former favourites on the White Hart Lane turf, unlike Graham. Klinsmann, a saviour at Tottenham with his late flurry of goals which kept the club in the financial comfort of the Premier League last season, suffers from the fact that he has not managed at club level, albeit that he and under-pressure Christian Gross had some animated sessions during team selection last term. Perhaps the memory of another foreign face who rose from the playing ranks to take the manager's slot still lingers. Ossie Ardiles also experienced the wrath of Sugar and possibly that, and the German's past history, is swaying the chairman's mind. Hoddle, one of Tottenham's greatest players, and in the summer a national hero, is paying the popularity price for the fall-out of his biography and England's defeat in Stockholm. Kinnear is still tainted with the 'long ball' brush even though his Wimbledon side beat Spurs last month because of their greater skill and flair. Many other names are being quoted in connection with the vacant hot-seat at White Hart Lane but it seems Graham outweighs them all in terms of all-round ability within the British and, to some extent, the European game. Raddy Antic, Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish, Berti Vogts and more have their supporters but each name has had a red pen line firmly run through it for one reason or another. Antic, currently unemployed, was the firm favourite and his friendship with David Pleat, his old boss at Luton Town and currently acting as Spurs caretaker manager, was thought to have swung the scales heavily in favour of the former Atletico Madrid coach. Had Antic been the one, he would have been installed at White Hart Lane this week. Keegan, hopeful of being a future England boss, is firmly entrenched with Fulham and Mohammed Al Fayed's building blocks of cash. He has no affinity with any other London club and is discounted solely, but not completely, on that basis. Dalglish is perceived as too fragile under pressure and Spurs believe he could not turn the current dire situation around. Vogts, recently added to the frame after quitting as German national team boss, is alien to club football in the Premier League. For that reason alone is a red herring for the top job. Graham may have some faults, notably the infamous 'bungs' scandal which put him out of football for a year after he admitted taking money from Norwegian agent Rune Hauge to facilitate a transfer. The 53-yeaqr-old Scot carried the can for a compendium of abuses that went unpunished during a Football Association witch hunt which went now-here. But that brooding sense of incomplete justice was quickly shrugged off, Graham preferring to take his year's suspension with a stiff upper-lip and focus on rebuilding his professional reputation and his personal pride. The one has followed the other. Leeds, wisely, put greater stock in his track record than his temporary disgrace and gave him a home in which to rehabilitate both himself and their club. Whatever stigma remained, faded with each result as Graham coaxed the team he was threading together on a shoe-string all the way up to an unlikely place in Europe. Now, as Tottenham study the identikit of their ideal manager and see Graham's face looking back at them, redemption is absolute. Sugar is not the first rival chairman to realise that the elegant Scot who restored Highbury to its former glory is the man to revive any big club's fortunes. The difference is that where some others have been quite readily rebuffed, Spurs represent a heritage so grand that their interest adds the final endorsement to Graham's regained credibility. Whether they get their man will depend on several issues. Graham does not forget that it was Leeds who took the risk to their image by helping him back into the game. He shares a warm relationship with the Yorkshire people and he has established a good rapport with the fans. Even though he maintains his chic apartment in Hampstead, he is not in any undue rush to return to London. Since he accepts that he is properly rewarded by his present ?1 million-a-year deal, he would not leave just for money. So if Spurs press this flirtation to the point of offering compensation for any breach of contract the key will be how much either club can raise to finance his team-building. Without doubt, Graham will seek counsel with Terry Venables about the bitter feud with Sugar which ended in his old friend being forced out of White Hart Lane and into a nasty and protracted legal war with the Spurs' chairman. But personality clashes may concern him less than a problem which has to be obvious to any incoming manager, namely the uneven quality of the players bought by Spurs during all their upheavals. His one and only frustration at Leeds has been his comparatively moderate budget for signings and salaries. Unless Leeds can generate and release extra funding, this is the area in which they may be vulnerable to an approach for their manager.