Tottenham are planning an approach for Atlético Madrid star Arda Turan, according to the Express. The news comes on the heels of an admission by the Turkish international's agent regarding the interest of Spurs' Premier League rivals Arsenal and Liverpool.
However, the 26-year-old winger is an important member of Diego Simeone's squad and with Champions League football at the Vicente Calderon this season (Atlético have been drawn with Portuguese champions FC Porto, Russians Zenit St Petersburg and minnows Austria Wien, giving them an excellent chance of progress to the knock-out rounds), it should come as no surprise the Spaniards will only surrender Turan for the £29m release clause in his contract.
According to Spanish radio station Cadena Cope, Spurs are willing to meet Turan's release clause and bring him to north London, as Andre Villas-Boas continues his hugely impressive summer buying spree. The White Hart Lane club have already spent on some world-class players, including former Real Madrid and Valencia striker Roberto Soldado and Brazil's 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup-winning midfielder Paulinho.
The trio of English clubs will face competition from the continent, according to the Express, with newly promoted Ligue 1 club AS Monaco also tracking Turan. And given the impressive financial backing Monaco enjoy at present, they will be confident of landing their man.
Galatasaray and Chelsea have also been linked to Turan but given the Blues have since confirmed the signing of Brazilian attacking midfielder Willian and Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o, it remains to be seen if Jose Mourinho extends his summer spending spree to include the Turk.
The Turkish champions remain a possible destination for Turan but the lure of playing in the Premier League (and remaining in the Champions League; if he joins Spurs, though, he will have to be content with Europa League action this season) is expected to trump the possibility of returning home.
"England is where most of the interest in him lies and they are well informed about Atletico's stance. They know that the Madrid club are rejecting all offers for him but that if [they] pay his release clause there is nothing the club can do," Turan's agent, Ahmed Bulut, explained.
As far as the Reds are concerned, Brendan Rodgers might be more concerned with defensive reinforcements at present, having lost summer signing Kolo Toure and Uruguay youngster Sebastian Coates to injuries. Liverpool have already strengthened their midfield this summer with the arrival of Spanish duo Luis Alberto and Iago Aspas.
However, the opportunity to sign Turan, whose talent down the wings could provide a crucial boost in the hunt for Champions League football next season will interest Rodgers; the £29m price tag, though, might not.
Finally, the Gunners have yet to make a signing of real intent in this transfer window, despite talk of a massive £70m raid on Real Madrid for Karim Benzema, Angel di Maria and Mesut Ozil. And with time running out for Arsene Wenger, there is the possibility that the deadline day rush of 2011 could be repeated at the Emirates.