Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has been reported to be monitoring FC Basle winger Mohamed Salah, with a view to making an offer for the 21-year-old in January to strengthen his Premier League title assault.
Despite insisting at the start of the season that Spurs’ aim was to finish in the top four and thus return to the Champions League next year, a good start has seen them emerge as potential Premier League candidates, although they will need to improve their on-field performances after the shock 3-0 loss to West Ham at White Hart Lane last weekend.
The team was booed off at full-time after conceding three second half goals, but they sit just three points off top of the table Arsenal after a promising start to the season.
Egyptian international Salah has impressed for the Swiss side, and he showed English sides what he can do with a goal in the Champions League victory over Chelsea last month.
Scouts of the north London club attended that game at Stamford Bridge, with one eye on Salah and the other on the Chelsea team they would meet in the Premier League 10 days later.
The Swiss champions value Salah highly, and would demand around £15m if they were to let one of their brightest talents leave the club. It is unknown whether Spurs’ chairman Daniel Levy would sanction such a move for that fee, having already shelled out over £100m in new signings in the summer transfer window.
The figure is considerably offset though by the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid in a world-record £86m transfer, but having already brought in midfielders Paulinho, Nacer Chadli and Christian Eriksen – who from his early appearances looks to be a masterstroke signing – another player of the same position would cause a back-log of attacking midfielders.
England youngster Andros Townsend has emerged in the Spurs squad this season, while Gylfi Sigurdsson has hit a good run of form having scored three goals in his last four league games, striking up a strong understanding with Eriksen.
Villas-Boas is also currently without winger Aaron Lennon, who remains in the sidelines through injury, while another summer signing Erik Lamela has been deployed on the left in a role similar to the departed Bale.