Tottenham are finally ready to break their transfer duck with a cut-price move for Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot.
But the deal will only happen if the French champions can get a replacement — with Everton’s Idrissa Gana Gueye a top target.
French international Rabiot is out of contract at the Parc des Princes in the summer and has made it clear that he will not sign a new deal.
The 23-year-old has been forced to train with the club’s Under-23s for the past month by hard-line boss Thomas Tuchel.
Barcelona have made a pre-contract offer to take Rabiot in the summer — but nothing has been signed and Barca confirmed the signing of Frenkie De Jong this week.
PSG would rather sell Rabiot for a bargain £20million than allow him to leave on a free at the end of the season.
It has been reported in France that Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has already spoken to the player and is eager to sign him to bolster his injury-stricken squad this month.
And Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is ready to loosen the purse strings to sanction the club’s first signing in a year – the last man to join Tottenham was Lucas Moura when he arrived from the French champions.
But first PSG have to convince Everton to sell Gueye, who is keen to test himself at the highest level after three seasons at Goodison.
And that will also have an impact of Arsenal’s hopes of landing PSG youngster Christopher Nkunku on loan.
Senegalese international Gueye, 29, cost Everton just £7m when they bought him from Aston Villa in 2016 and he has been the most consistent player in Marco Silva’s struggling team this season.
PSG are preparing a £22m bid for Gueye, although Silva denies that any offer has yet been received.
Everton are already working to sign another midfield ball-winner and have identified Celta Vigo’s Slovakian international Stanislav Lobotka as a potential replacement.
Arsenal, meanwhile, are still in talks with PSG over a loan deal for 21-year-old Nkunku with the option of a permanent £17.5m deal in the summer.