Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly planning to continue their shopping spree in January, with an audacious move for AC Milan forward Stephan El Shaarawy.
The north London outfit spent close to £110m in the summer, bringing in seven new players to their ranks, though they lost talisman and last season's PFA Player of the Year Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for a record transfer fee of £85.3m.
The Spurs have the funds to spend on improving their squad in January, according to the Mirror, and manager Andre Villas-Boas now wants to recruit a high-profile and versatile forward, to feature alongside Spanish striker and summer signing Roberto Soldado. The report claims Milan's El Shaarawy has now emerged as a prime target.
The Italy international, who was linked to Arsenal and Manchester City this summer, can operate in a variety of roles in the attacking line-up but his favourite position remains the left flank, where Bale mainly featured for Tottenham. El Shaarawy can also be deployed as a centre forward, when Soldado is unavailable, as the club currently lacks options up front.
Striker Emmanuel Adebayor has fallen out-of-favour at White Hart Lane and was recently asked to train with the club's reserves, while preferred back-up Jermain Defoe would be allowed to leave in January, if a replacement can be signed.
Convincing El Shaarawy to leave Milan might not be a very difficult task for Villas-Boas, as the 21-year-old is currently struggling for regular first-team football at the San Siro. The forward had scored 14 goals during the first half of last season - attracting interest from several top clubs - but has fallen down the pecking order, since the arrival of Mario Balotelli from City earlier this year.
Milan are still facing financial issues but it would still require an offer of at least £20m, for them to even consider selling El Shaarawy. The report says Tottenham are also monitoring the situation of out-of-favour Juventus striker Fernando Llorente.