Tottenham Hotspur's new manager Mauricio Pochettino is wasting no time in preparing for next season at White Hart Lane and has targeted Southampton captain Adam Lallana as his first major signing, according to The Guardian.
Lallana blossomed under Pochettino's stewardship at Saints last season, emerging as one of the Premier League's most potent playmakers and a potential star for England at this summer's World Cup.
Liverpool and Manchester United have been tracking the 26-year-old for more than six months but now have a major rival for his signature, with Pochettino able to call upon a fantastic relationship with his former skipper and possessing the funds to make a summer switch happen.
Saints now face a huge fight to stop Pochettino's exit creating the basis for a wholesale exodus among playing staff, but they have already turned a £20m offer for Lallana from Liverpool since their best ever Premier League season concluded.
Pochettino is reportedly armed with a £50m transfer warchest to turn Spurs into genuine contenders for Champions League football next season, although despite that vast sum the Argentine wants to work with players he can trust and Lallana fits that bill perfectly.
Spurs are yet to register a concrete offer but after formally confirming Pochettino's appointment last night Saints are braced for a raid from a boss who had a massive impact on the South Coast in just 18 months, particularly on the likes of England youngsters Lallana, Luke Shaw and Jay Rodriguez.
Saints are believed to be holding out for a fee approaching £25m before considering allowing Lallana to move on though, and with the midfielder under contract until 2018 they remain in a strong bargaining position.