Tottenham Hotspur’s hopes of signing Dusan Vlahovic may be fading after what has been a whirlwind week for transfer rumours in the Premier League.
The Fiorentina striker has been strongly linked with a move to the English top flight, with Spurs and Arsenal initially at the head of the betting to be his next club.
Spurs continue to be touted as the favourites to secure his services with some of the best betting sites, but they now face stiff competition from elsewhere.
Leading bookmakers rate Manchester City as one possible destination, but their local rivals Manchester United have now reportedly entered the race.
According to talkSPORT, United are monitoring the situation and could make a move if some of their current forwards leave the club in January.
Edinson Cavani has been strongly linked with Barcelona, while Anthony Martial has become increasingly unhappy with his lack of game time.
While United’s interest in Vlahovic is unsurprising, it will undoubtedly come as a disappointment for Spurs who have been closely following the Serbian’s progress.
Vlahovic has scored 15 times in 17 Serie A appearances this season, meaning only Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski is ahead of him in the race for the Golden Shoe.
Many pundits believe he would be the ideal replacement for Harry Kane, who has repeatedly been linked with a move to Man City.
A £45 million fee was initially mooted for the 21-year-old, but interest from other clubs is likely to inflate the asking price.
Newcastle United have also been linked with the striker, with Rai journalist Filippo Grassia claiming they have lodged a bid in the region of £85m.
However, while the Magpies would be able to offer bumper wages, Vlahovic is unlikely to sign for a club embroiled in a relegation battle.
The opportunity to work with Antonio Conte at Spurs could be appealing to Vlahovic, given his track record of improving players.
Unfortunately for Spurs, the interest from other big clubs could price them out of sealing a deal for the talented striker.
The situation could change if City step up their long-standing interest in Kane, with several Spanish media outlets claiming Pep Guardiola still wants to sign the England captain.
The City boss believes he is the best striker on the market, although Borussia Dortmund star Erling Braut Haaland may beg to differ on that one.
If City return with a bid in excess of £100m for Kane, Spurs may be tempted to sell and use some of the cash to buy Vlahovic.
With seven years between the two strikers, chairman Daniel Levy may see this as the ideal opportunity to do some wheeling and dealing.
Spurs also have other areas of their squad they need to improve, and cashing in on Kane would give them the opportunity to tweak a few things.
Many Spurs fans are yet to forgive Kane for trying to force a move to City last summer, and a move away may be best for everyone concerned.
Vlahovic possesses all the tools to be the ideal replacement for Kane, and signing him would undoubtedly be a major statement of intent by the club.