Tottenham are studying a move for £35million-rated Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes.
But the north Londoners are now making the bigger play to land the 20-year-old enforcer and have moved ahead of their top-six rivals in the queue.
Representatives working for Fernandes were in England last week and met with potential suitors.
Tottenhamboss Mauricio Pochettino has been told by chairman Daniel Levy that he will have money to spend this summer after they made no new signings in the last two transfer windows.
Pochettino knows his squad needs freshening up, with Kieran Trippier, Serge Aurier and Victor Wanyama likely to leave and doubts remaining around Toby Alderweireld’s future.
Fernandes is one of the options being exploring now Spurs have the added attraction of having made it into European club football’s biggest game.
The player, born on the African island of Sao Tome and Principe, joined Benfica aged 10 and rose through the ranks before breaking into the first team last summer.
He has been capped all the way through Portugal’s age groups with his first two senior caps this season.
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