Tottenham are willing to make Dimitar Berbatov play reserve-team football if they do not receive a suitable offer for the striker from Manchester United.
Spurs are understood to be looking for at least £30million for the 27-year-old - who has handed in a transfer request in pursuit of a move to Old Trafford - and they are waiting for a bid from United before the end of the transfer window.
The transfer saga led to Berbatov missing Saturday's defeat to Sunderland after being deemed psychologically unfit and a threat to dressing-room harmony - and a repeat could see the Bulgaria captain feature in Clive Allen's second-string team.
Head coach Juande Ramos and Berbatov met on Sunday for more talks about the future of the £10.9million signing from Bayer Leverkusen, with his absence over the weekend leading to his departure looking inevitable.
The ball now looks to be in United's court, with the crucial factor being what they genuinely value the player at.
Historically, United do not find themselves backed into a corner during transfer negotiations - their interest in Michael Essien and Arjen Robben fell away when the price was not right. Rather than being held to ransom, they have been willing to miss out on a player.
They also tend to do their business earlier in the summer rather than leaving it until close to the deadline to complete deals for players.
Striking a deal with Spurs would also probably see the Premier League complaint against United dropped, after they were effectively accused of tapping-up Berbatov.
Spurs would ideally want to bring in a striker before allowing Berbatov to leave, particularly as Darren Bent is their only available out-and-out striker at the moment.
Radamel Falcao from River Plate is the latest name to be linked with a move to White Hart Lane, with Wigan's Emile Heskey also reported over the weekend as a potential target.