Manchester United and Tottenham are both reportedly in talks over a move for Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare in the January transfer window.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is believed to be targeting two midfielders before the start of the season, and have been linked with Donny van de Beek of Ajax and Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez.
Tottenham also need to strengthen, with Jose Mourinho having guided the club up to fifth in the Premier League after taking over from sacked Mauricio Pochettino with the club struggling in mid-table.
Tottenham and United are a point apart as they chase fourth-placed Chelsea in the race for a Champions League spot – and now it has emerged they are also rivals for the same player.
Both clubs are in discussions over the possible signing of midfielder Soumare next month, according to a report from La Voix du Nord via Get Football News France.
The 20-year-old is highly sought after, with as many eight clubs from across Europe in talks either with Lille or with Soumare’s representatives, according to the report.
Napoli, Real Madrid and Valencia are understood to be among those who have held preliminary talks with the France youth international, who could cost up to around £50million euros.
Wolves have reportedly dropped out of the race to sign him after their overtures in the summer were rejected.
According to Get Football News France, Lille are relaxed about the prospect of losing the midfielder, who has made 22 appearances this season, helping them up to third Ligue 1 table.
However, they would prefer a deal whereby Soumare is loaned back to them until the end of the season.
Mourinho has already snapped up coaches Joao Sacramento and Nuno Santos from the French club since taking over as Tottenham manager, and has a good relationship with Lille director Luis Campos.