Moussa Dembele was today set to be unveiled as a Tottenham player as further doubt was cast on the future of Rafael van der Vaart.
Spurs and Fulham confirmed they had reached an agreement over the transfer of Dembele, with the west London club revealing the forward had passed a medical and would sign at White Hart Lane for an undisclosed fee.
The announcement followed a declaration by Hamburg that they would do everything possible to re-sign Van der Vaart from Tottenham before the transfer window closed.
Van der Vaart has been strongly linked with a return to his former club but the Bundesliga side's chairman, Carl-Edgar Jarchow, has admitted time is running out to convince Spurs to sell.
“There is not a lot of time – it is really up to Tottenham Hotspur,” he told Deutsche Presse-Agentur.
“If we have a chance to sign him, we will do everything we can to make that happen.”
That opportunity could present itself now Tottenham have successfully begun to sign some of their own targets during what looks set to be another frantic final 48 hours of a summer transfer window at White Hart Lane.
As well as triggering what was reportedly a £15million release clause for Dembele, new manager Andre Villas-Boas has also renewed the interest he showed while Chelsea boss in Shakhtar Donetsk forward Willian, who could fill the void left by the departure of Luka Modric.
Shakhtar chief executive Sergei Palkin today claimed he had rejected a bid of just under £12million for the Brazilian and that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy had also made an enquiry about two other players.
“Mr Levy, the chairman of Tottenham Hotspur FC, personally flew to Donetsk to negotiate over Willian,” Palkin told his club’s official website, www.shakhtar.com.
“But his latest offer was 15 million euros, which we of course did not accept.
“Levy, by the way, hinted that besides Willian, Villas-Boas was interested in Douglas Costa and Fernandinho, but he mentioned that just casually, without any specifics.”
Spurs have been heavily linked for some time with France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and there are reports they could be on the brink of agreeing a deal with Lyon in the region of £13million.
Van der Vaart is said to be valued at around £14million by Daniel Levy, almost double what the Tottenham chairman paid Real Madrid for the 29-year-old two years ago.
The Holland star joined Real from Hamburg, where he became a cult hero during his three-year spell at the club, while his wife, Sylvie, still works in Germany.
Spurs have also been linked with Internacional striker Leandro Damiao and Rennes midfielder Yann M’Vila but the chances of them moving to White Hart Lane appear to have receded.
Time is also running out for Villas-Boas to offload players, with doubt having reportedly been cast on the futures of several players, including Michael Dawson, Jermaine Jenas, Aaron Lennon, David Bentley, Heurelho Gomes, Giovani dos Santos and Jermain Defoe.
Tom Huddlestone appeared to have completed a loan move to Stoke, although that has been complicated by a medical that prompted concern over the player’s long-standing ankle problems.