Under the terms of his £10million severance package from Chelsea, Mourinho cannot work for another Premier League team this season.
Mourinho has already said he will take a sabbatical from football and has declared there will be no more interviews until he is ready to come back to the game. Tottenham appear ready to wait.
Mourinho will demand no interference from boardroom level - a factor that hastened the end of his Chelsea career because of club owner Roman Abramovich's demands for stylish football.
But Mourinho's conditions will be met as Tottenham continue their quest to break into the elite. They have ambitious plans for a new £250m, 60,000-capacity stadium close to White Hart Lane and they want a manager with ambitions to match their own.