After making a relatively low-key start to their summer with the £4.3m signing of young defender Kevin Wimmer, Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly set to step things up a notch with their next move.
Spurs are apparently hoping to conclude an £18m deal for Monaco forward Anthony Martial, who has enjoyed a fine breakout year with the Ligue 1 club.
The 19-year-old scored nine times in Ligue 1, with eight of those goals coming in the final 12 games of the season as he became an established member of Leonardo Jardim’s first-team.
Able to play either through the centre, or on the flanks, Martial is a versatile attacker that would seem a fine fit for Mauricio Pochettino’s young team, and he could be either a partner or an alternative option to Harry Kane.
However, now their interest has come to the attention of the wider football world, Spurs must be afraid that bigger fish will arrive and turn Martial’s head.
It would hardly be the first time it has happened to the north London club, with perhaps the most painful gazumping being performed by Chelsea when they pinched Willian in the summer of 2013.
The Brazilian was apparently sitting at Spurs’ training ground when the Blues’ call arrived. Aided by Roman Abramovich’s connections in Russia, Jose Mourinho nabbed the midfielder from under Spurs’ nose, and it is perhaps Chelsea that the Lilywhites should fear with Martial as well.
The Blues have become incredibly proficient at hoovering up the best young talent in Europe in recent years, a strategy which has worked as a business plan more than a tactic to improve their first team.
Those young players are farmed out on loan for a season or two, just long enough for their value to sky-rocket, and are then sold off to finance moves for established stars like Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas.
As one of the most promising young forwards in Europe, Martial certainly fits the bill for Chelsea, who are also on the hunt for new strikers to act as back-up for Costa this summer.
If Spurs have learned anything from the past few summers, they best get Martial to sign on the dotted line ASAP.
The Monaco forward is currently 17/10 to join a Premier League club by the end of the transfer window, and 3/10 to steer clear of the English top-flight for another summer.