Arsenal are prioritising a deal for a central defender despite Philippe Coutinho's representatives contacting the club to see whether they would be interested in signing the Brazilian on loan for the upcoming season.
The transfer window closes on Thursday and Spurs could find themselves very busy over the next two days.
The Premier League transfer window shuts soon and it's a race against time for Coutinho to escape.
Despite needing to take in some money, the Catalans aren't opposed to this possibility, though they would require a sizeable loan fee to be paid by Spurs.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino phoned Coutinho in an effort to convince him to return to England, Sky Sports News understands.
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Tottenham don't want to run the risk the Denmark global runs down his contract this season and then leaves for nothing next summer and the club are preparing themselves for several cut-price offers for the player before the window closes.
However, Coutinho has now rejected the idea of moving to Tottenham as he might be considering staying put at Barcelona for the foreseeable future.
Since making the 145-million-euro switch to Barcelona from Liverpool, the Brazilian midfielder has had an underwhelming 18 months at the Camp Nou and the club are happy to let him leave on loan. "But it's not my decision, it's the club's and Philippe's".
And he is rumoured to be heading for a return to England, with Spurs last night joining their three Premier League rivals in a desperate late scramble to get a deal done by the deadline.