Tottenham will dump striker Dimitar Berbatov in the reserves if Manchester United do not come up with the 30million pounds (42 million euros) they want for the 27-year-old Bulgarian striker who has handed in a transfer request to try to force a move.
With the transfer window to close on 1 September, United will have to look sharp if they are to make a move for the sharpshooter, whose unsettled stance led coach Juande Ramos to leave him on the bench for Saturday's defeat to Sunderland.
Ramos deemed him psychologically unfit to play and a threat to dressing-room harmony - and media reports in London on Monday said he faced being banished from the first team altogether.
Ramos and Berbatov held talks Sunday but the key to the outcome is whether United can come up with the cash to land their man.
Earlier this summer, Spurs had complained to the Premier League in the belief United had tapped up the forward.
With Robbie Keane having joined Liverpool, Spurs, who have lost their opening two league fixtures, would have only Darren Bent as an out-and-out striker should they offload Berbatov.
Radamel Falcao of Argentine side River Plate has been linked with a move to White Hart Lane, as has Wigan's veteran front man Emile Heskey