Tottenham Hotspur are lining up a players-plus-cash deal for Wigan Athletic’s James McCarthy, the Mirror understands.
Spurs boss Andre Villas Boas is keen on the Republic of Ireland international, but is reluctant to meet the Latics’ valuation.
The 22 year old has made over 100 Premier League appearances for the North West club, and was one of their stand-out performers in their triumphant FA Cup campaign last season.
Nonetheless the Glasgow born star, who has also been linked with a move to former manager Roberto Martinez’s Everton, was unable to help the club avoid relegation to the Championship.
Tottenham may offer £12m, including players, though Wigan are unlikely to settle for anything less than the £20m price tag they have placed on their prize asset.
Teenager Harry Kane, who has spent most of his short career so far out on loan, is one player likely to be included in Spurs’ opening bid.
The striker most recently turned out for Leicester City, where he scored five goals in fourteen Championship appearances during the final two months of last season.