Tottenham's long search for an established centre-back looks nearer to a resolution after Villarreal signed a replacement for the outgoing Mateo Musacchio.
With Michael Dawson unfancied by new manager Mauricio Pochettino, Vlad Chiriches rumoured to be on the way out too and doubts persisting over Younes Kaboul's fitness, Tottenham only have Jan Vertonghen and new youngster Eric Dier as centre-back options.
Third-party ownership issue
Musacchio was targeted as an ideal addition but Villarreal's need for a replacement and third party ownership issues have hindered the transfer.
One of those barriers appears to have been removed with the loan transfer of Victor Ruiz from Valencia to the Yellow Submarine. Now 23-year-old Musacchio has only ownership issues to overcome before moving to White Hart Lane.
Spurs offer €20m
The six foot Argentine centre back is only 35 per cent owned by Villarreal, with former side River Plate retaining a 35 per cent share and the final 30% owned by the defender's representatives.
A release clause fee of €50million was astronomical, and Spurs have offered €20million for the twice capped international but Villarreal reportedly want €15million to agree to a transfer and hope the defender's agent, Marcelo Lombilla, can come to an agreement with River Plate.
However, the plot has thickened with news from Villareal president Fernando Roig stating the defender will be offered a new contract. Whether that actually materialises or whether it is simply a negotiating stance, Spurs will hope a decision is made sooner rather thanlater.