Tottenham Hotspur have reportedly begun the process of attempting to facilitate a deal for Paris Saint-Germain attacker Lucas Moura - a player frequently mentioned in connection with Premier League rivals Manchester United over recent weeks.
According to French publication L'Equipe, manager Mauricio Pochettino is keen to bolster his attacking ranks for the second half of the 2017-18 campaign and Spurs' interest in winger Lucas has supposedly been aroused by speculation over a move to either Old Trafford or Serie A outfit Napoli having cooled.
It is suggested that Tottenham have taken steps to open talks over recent hours, with their existing relationship with PSG - established following last summer's £23m ($31.9m) deal for right-back Serge Aurier and the previous sale of Benjamin Stambouli - potentially set to help move things along somewhat.
However, a potential stumbling block comes with the fact that chairman Daniel Levy is said to favour a loan move, whereas the dominant Ligue 1 leaders are seeking a permanent deal to help them comply with Financial Fair Play (FFP).
Lucas has been reduced to a peripheral role at PSG under Unai Emery this term amid serious competition for places and has yet to start a single French top-flight match, instead having to settle for just five substitute appearances - the last of which came in the 5-0 victory over Angers on 4 November - and an eight-minute cameo in the Coupe de la Ligue round of 16 defeat of Strasbourg in mid-December.
United were heavily linked with the 25-year-old before making an ambitious play to land Alexis Sanchez in a £35m deal that will obviously be scaled down in the likely event that Henrikh Mkhitaryan departs in part-exchange, while Arsenal and Chelsea were briefly rumoured be keeping tabs on his situation.
Real Betis, Bordeaux, Nice, Nantes and Chinese Super League side Beijing Guoan are also believed to want to sign £22m-rated Lucas this month, though it appears that England is his preferred destination.
"Is there a chance that I stay this winter? I do not think so," he told reporters after remaining an unused substitute for the narrow win over Nantes on 14 January - a match which preceded the 8-0 drubbing of Dijon for which Lucas, out of contract in 2019, was not even named on the bench.
"With what the coach has said, it looks like this is the end of my Paris story. I have offers but I cannot talk about them. I like English football very much, it is truly one of the best leagues in the world. I have always said that I want to stay in Europe - I still have things to achieve here."
Tottenham, who recently trained in Barcelona after extending their unbeaten run to six matches with a 4-0 win over Everton, have endured a typically ponderous start to the current transfer window, sanctioning the respective loan exits of Georges-Kevin Nkoudou (Burnley) and Marcus Edwards (Norwich City) in addition to recalling young defender Cameron Carter-Vickers from his season-long stint at Sheffield United.
Pochettino - whose Champions League squad already includes the maximum number of overseas players - has previously insisted that Spurs were "working" and "awake to the market" and encouraged the club to go about their business quicker in order to avoid costly past mistakes, effectively using January as a precursor to the summer.
Davinson Sanchez, Paulo Gazzaniga, Juan Foyth, Aurier and Fernando Llorente all arrived during the latter stages of the previous window and the Argentine now wants to take advantage of the English market amid links to the likes of Stevenage defender Ben Wilmot, Fulham prodigy Ryan Sessegnon and Norwich midfielder James Maddison, among others.