Tottenham have helped to uncover a transfer scam that has been reported to FIFA after they were offered the chance to sign Twente striker Luc Castaignos.
The north London club are believed to be in the market for a striker in the final few days before the close of the January transfer window.
The Telegraph report that Spurs were targeted in a scam by a group who approached the club claiming they had been authorised to negotiate the transfer of Castaignos, a highly-rated Dutch under-21 star.
According to the paper, a man from Croatia approached Tottenham saying he had the rights to deal with the transfer, and had with him a forged mandate with a fake signature of Twente chairman Joop Munsterman.
However the plan quickly unravelled as Tottenham had already done business with Castaignos' agent Rodger Linse, who was involved in Mousa Dembele's switch to White Hart Lane in 2012.
Spurs have also dealt with Twente recently, having signed winger Nacer Chadli from the Dutch club in the summer.
After contacting Twente, who say they didn't authorise the sale of Castaignos, the matter has now been reported to FIFA.
A Twente spokesman said: “The club were informed about the situation by a contact in England. It is correct that the signature of the club chairman was forged and the matter is now in the hands of the Dutch federation and Fifa.”
The Telegraph confirm that a Tottenham did inform Twente about the approach, but were unaware of the scale of the scam.
Three agents, Domagoj Lisica, Karim el Atmani and Danny Budimir, have been threatened with police action by the Dutch football employers’ organisation (FBO).
Budimir has already been in touch with the FBO and denies any wrong-doing.
“I was approached with this mandate to try to help find a club for Luc Castaignos in the MLS," he explained.
"I have seen false mandates before, but never a fake mandate from the club. I’m happy to assist the Dutch federation and Fifa with any investigations.”
Serge Rossmeisl, CEO of FBO, says FIFA will now be investigating the con-artists.
“We have never seen a false mandate before," he said.
"The first priority was to ensure it would not be used again and now we have left the matter with the Dutch federation and Fifa.”