Tottenham have been challenged to improve the personal terms they are offering Emmanuel Adebayor as the Manchester City striker stalls on signing a contract.
A £6m fee has been agreed between the clubs but it is understood that Adebayor's advisers believe the 28-year-old deserves better terms than those offered.
It is thought Adebayor, who had a successful loan spell at Spurs last season, has a four-year deal on the table. The player has two years left on his £175,000-a-week deal at City, a salary far in excess of what Spurs' highest earners collect.
Spurs hoped to bridge the gap by including a signing-on fee and clauses relating to bonuses and image rights, but the player is still holding out for a more lucrative deal. Adebayor's camp believe he would be about £1m worse off if he agreed to the current Spurs offer.
There is now a chance that Adebayor will run down his City contract before leaving the club for free, though Spurs have not given up hope of reaching an agreement. City would prefer to sell Adebayor but, if personal terms cannot be agreed, they might look at another loan deal.
Last season, City contributed £105,000 to Adebayor's wages every week. They would be loathe to do that again but if Adebayor cannot be reconciled with the City manager Roberto Mancini, it might be the most pragmatic option.
New Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas would like to bring in two forwards in this transfer window. Robert Lewandowski, of Borussia Dortmund and Poland, is thought to have been his first choice but he is currently deemed too costly.