Tottenham are set to join the race to sign Ezequiel Garay from Benfica as they prepare for the departure on Jan Vertonghen, reports the Daily Express.
The Dutch defender has become a key target for Andre Villas-Boas as he looks to bring the best players from his former job at White Hart Lane to his new job at Zenit St Petersburg.
The Russian club are backed heavily by energy giants Gazprom, who have helped finance major deals for Hulk and Axel Witsel in recent years. It seems their big spending ways are forcing Tottenham to consider replacements should a sizeable offer arrive for Vertonghen.
As a result, Tottenham sent scouts to Portugal to run the rule over Benfica defender Garay, who has also fallen onto Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho's radar in recent weeks.
Although Mourinho already has youngster Kurt Zouma arriving from St Etienne in the summer, the Blues boss is reportedly ready to sell David Luiz and sees Garay as a fitting replacement.
No club has shown more interest, however, than Manchester United, who even had a deal agreed with the Argentine under Sir Alex Ferguson but was subsequently cancelled by his successor David Moyes.
Strangely, Moyes and Manchester United have retained their interest in the centre-back and were tipped to make a move this summer.
Scouts from both Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford were present for Benfica's Europa League tie against Tottenham, where he may have first caught the eye of Spurs officials.
Benfica have struggled to stay in the black in recent seasons and were rumoured to be ready to sell Garay in order to balance the books.