Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is not prepared to sanction a free transfer for Chelsea winger Willian without first seeing at least one player leave, according to reports.
Willian’s contract at Stamford Bridge runs out in the coming months and the Brazilian admitted in April that it would be “unlikely” for him to extend his terms.
Blues boss Frank Lampard, meanwhile, said earlier in May that he was looking “very carefully” at ways to keep both Willian and Olivier Giroud at the club.
Days later, Chelsea announced that Giroud had agreed a one-year extension to his deal and while Willian has said he is open to staying until the end of the season, his long-term future looks to be away from West London.
Tottenham have been heavily linked with Willian in recent weeks and, according to the Star on Sunday, Spurs boss Jose Mourinho remains keen on reuniting with the player he brought to Chelsea in 2013.
However, the newspaper says that, amid the current financial uncertainties, Levy is unprepared to take on Willian’s £120,000 per week wages and Erik Lamela looks most likely to leave to fund a move for the Brazilian.
Lamela is one of Spurs’ longest-serving players having joined from Roma in 2013, but Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura – among others – can also play in similar positions to the playmaker.
The Argentine moved to Spurs for a then-club record fee of £30million and was a regular in his first three seasons at the club, but since then he has struggled with injury problems and consequently fallen down the pecking order.
This season, the Argentina international has played 27 times in all competitions, including making 17 Premier League outings.
The Star on Sunday adds that Spurs are willing to listen to offers of around £20million in a bid to offload the 28-year-old.
In other news, Tottenham attacker Steven Bergwijn has insisted that Spurs must push for the Champions League spots when the Premier League returns.
Spurs were winless in six matches – including five defeats – before football’s shutdown.