Tottenham are preparing to bolster their central midfield options in the January transfer window, according to reports.
Young Harry Winks dazzled at the Bernabeu in the 1-1 draw with Real Madrid but injuries to Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama could force Mauricio Pochettino into the transfer market.
Dembele, 30, and Wanyama, 26, have both been unavailable since September and it's unclear when they will be able to return.
The Argentine coach spoke to the press about his injured midfield duo on Friday.
“No decision at the moment if we are going to move in January,” Pochettino said.
“Talking to (chairman) Daniel Levy and Steve and we are focused on every position on the pitch, to be vigilant and aware of what we need to do.
“We are concerned about his (Wanyama’s) situation, must wait to see what happens when he sees the specialist. we have no clear idea what is going on.
“It’s difficult to explain on Mousa. He had incident in training and complained about pain in hip. He cannot complete intensity of the training.”
If the Kenyan and Belgian midfielders are unable to return to full fitness, a transfer target has already been identified by the club.
According to The Mirror, Tottenham will move for Everton's Ross Barkley.
The 23-year-old England international is currently sidelined with a hamstring problem but is expected to return to first team training in November.
Tottenham were heavily linked to Barkley over the summer but failed to meet Everton's asking price.
With his contract due to expire next summer, Daniel Levy will be hopeful of securing a cut-price deal for the talented Scouser.
Barkley, initially valued at £50m, handed in a transfer request over the summer and was at the centre of a tug-of-war between Chelsea and Spurs before suffering a long-term injury.
Pochettino is currently relying on Winks and Dier to fill the void in central midfield roles but could also ask Dele Alli to drop deeper.
“It’s not my decision but if he [Winks] keeps his performance of the past few weeks, why not? [make the World Cup]," said Pochettino.
“I’m so pleased because he has the quality to play the way he did against Real Madrid. He showed great character, personality and quality.
“He’s still so young and hasn’t played many games still. But he has not surprised me.
“You work three seasons together and you can start to see his evolution. It’s about trying to find the right time to provide him the place and the opportunity to play.
“Recently he has played for the national team and played at the Bernabeu, but we must now look after his body and mind too.”