Southampton have announced an ambitious transfer target - Brazil striker Leandro Damiao. The 23 year old senior international has been heavily linked with a move to Tottenham for some time now but differences in valuation have kept Spurs and Internacional apart.
And now the Saints believe they can nip in and steal the striker. The St Mary's Stadium club's manager, Mauricio Pochettino, has confirmed an interest in Damiao and a number of other players.
"We manage a lot of information about very good players. One of them is Damiao, also Banega [Ever Banega, Valencia CF] and also Wanyama [Victor Wanyama, Celtic]. We are not interested in 15 or 20 players. We are interested in maybe two or three key players," the Argentine explained.
The Brazilian club's director of football, Luis Cesar de Souto Moura, has been quoted as saying Internacional would not accept bids below the €25m mark for their player, a figure Spurs are understood to be unwilling to pay.
Midweek reports from Brazil suggested that as a result of this impasse between Spurs and Internacional, a then-unidentified Premier League club had registered their interest. Damiao's agent, Jorge Machado, was quoted as confirming this interest.
"There is a club interested [in Leandro]. We have been talking with Internacional for many days, but we have to wait. Inter have set a value, which is very significant, so we need to have more talks," he told UOL.
Internacional's reluctance to negotiate and the growing certainty that Spain striker David Villa will swap Barcelona for White Hart Lane could leave the Saints with a clear path to Damiao. Of course, whether the player will want to go to a mid-table Premier League club remains to be seen, as does Southampton's ability to match the transfer fee demanded and pay Damiao his wages.
Goal.com has already strongly hinted at Villa's north London switch, with the report claiming that a £10m fee will exchange hands. And Andre Villas-Boas may feel an experienced Villa (who has won the Spanish league, the Champions League, the World Cup and the European Championships and is Spain's all-time top scorer) is a better bet than a Damiao who has yet to prove himself in European football.
From that perspective, as well, as financial - Villa will cost only half - the Spaniard may end up being AVB's preferred target.
Either way, Tottenham fans are set to see an almost brand-new attacking line on 17 August, when they travel to Crystal Palace for the opening game of the season. With a Mail Online report that Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor is being courted by Turkish club Besiktas and the Metro suggesting England striker Jermain Defoe is on the shortlist of players to leave the club in the summer, Welsh international Gareth Bale could have two new goal scoring partners up front.