Express Sport understands Tottenham are stepping up their pursuit of Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic following the collapse of their £60million swoop for Lautaro Martinez. Spurs have been in direct contact with his agent Darko Ristic for well over a week but a source has confirmed talks behind the scenes have intensified in the past 48 hours with Martinez now expected to sign a new lucrative contract with Inter Milan.
The Serie A champions were expected to put the brakes on the Argentine’s proposed move to Spurs after accepting a £97.5m bid from Chelsea for Romelu Lukaku.
But Martinez’s agent Alejandro Camano has since confirmed his intentions to stay at the San Siro, where he is expected to sign a new long-term deal in the coming weeks.
Fabio Paratici is now thought to be working around the clock to bring in a new striker for Nuno Espirito Santo amid reports Manchester City are expected to bid £120m for Harry Kane next week.
The magnitude of that offer is expected to put Spurs under serious pressure once again, particularly given Kane’s desire to leave, meaning Spurs need a potential replacement at the ready.
Their Plan A remains to partner Vlahovic with their talisman this season though and the club are not thought to be actively targeting the Fiorentina frontman as Kane’s replacement.
JUST IN: Harry Kane’s camp ‘not ruling out new Tottenham contract’ amid Man City transfer saga
There was an element of surprise last Sunday when reports confirmed that Spurs had a £60m agreement in place with Inter for Martinez.
That’s because although Spurs’ interest in signing another striker has been no secret since Carlos Vinicius return to Benfica, the noises coming out from the club were that Tottenham had to sell before they buy in attack.
Yet now it’s clear the money is there to spend but Paratici, a master of his craft, wants to ensure Spurs do not waste cash on his watch.
Vlahovic is a player he knows all too well from his time in Italy last season with Juventus.
Do you want an exclusive pre-season preview for YOUR club – both in your inbox and through your letterbox? Head over here to find out more and secure your copy.
The Serbian international was on target in both league matches against the Old Lady, including La Viola’s 3-0 demolition of Juve in Turin.
Only Cristian Ronaldo (29), Romelu Lukaku (24) and Luis Muriel (22) managed more goals in Serie A than Vlahovic (21) last season.
Fiorentina remain hopeful they can convince him to sign a new contract after extensive talks with their striker and his entourage but he is now edging closer to the exit door.
The Italian club would then look to include a bumper release clause that would their maximise profits with Vlahovic currently valued at a reported £51.4m.