Tottenham are plotting a surprise swoop for Crystal Palace forward Christian Benteke as Jose Mourinho attempts to sign a striker before the end of the transfer window.
Spurs have already brought in full-back Matt Doherty, goalkeeper Joe Hart and midfielder Pierre-Emile Højbjerg this summer, and reinforcements up front remain their final priority.
However, such is the status and reliance afforded to Harry Kane in north London, finding a forward of the desired quality who will be prepared to compete with the Spurs talisman has proved difficult.
The club have already seen attempted moves for Alexander Sorloth and Arkadiusz Milik fail to materialise, and according to Football Insider, they have turned their attentions to Benteke, with Mourinho giving ‘the green light’ for a late move for the Palace forward.
Despite Benteke finding the net just six times in the Premier League over the course of the last three seasons, Mourinho is said to be a fan of the Belgian international, having attempted to sign him while he was in charge at Manchester United.
Palace would likely favour the move if Spurs can provide an appropriate offer, with Benteke not a regular starter at Selhurst Park and the Eagles eager to reduce their wage bill.
The 29-year-old is a proven goal scorer in the Premier League, with 72 goals in 226 top flight appearances – 19 of which came during his thoroughly impressive debut season with Aston Villa in 2012/13. However, he has found the net just 23 times in 116 games for Palace.
Mourinho has remained adamant that his side need a striker – but only one who is willing to compete for his place.
“If the striker is afraid to come to Tottenham, and the striker is afraid of competition then I don’t want a striker,” the Spurs boss said. “If he says I don’t want to go because I don’t want to be in a squad where we have Harry Kane, Son, Lamela, Lucas Moura then, goodbye.”