By Greg Stobart
Tottenham have opened talks with Roma over a move for striker Mirko Vucinic, Goal.com can reveal.
Discussions between the two clubs have been underway for the last 48 hours as Spurs manager Harry Redknapp desperately tries to bolster his strike-force.
Tottenham have turned their attentions to Vucinic as they fear top target Giuseppe Rossi is close to completing a £26.4 million switch from Villarreal to Juventus.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy hopes to agree a fee of around £15m for Vucinic but Roma have so far been demanding £17.5m for the Montenegrin star.
The 27-year-old, who has also been linked with Blackburn Rovers, Juventus and Bayern Munich, is believed to be keen on a switch to north London and has asked to leave Roma after falling out with the fans in the Italian capital.
Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini has publicly claimed that Roma want to keep Vucinic, but he could be surplus to requirements at the Stadio Olimpico if they complete proposed moves for River Plate wonderkid Erik Lamela and Barcelona forward Bojan.
Although Spurs are actively trying to agree a deal for Vucinic, there remain doubts within White Hart Lane over the former Lecce man's temperament. The forward, who can also play out wide, scored just 10 league goals last season and was criticised for his attitude and body language.
“Vucinic is an extremely talented player and a big improvement on what we've got, so an approach has been made to see if a deal can be done,” a Tottenham insider told Goal.com.
“He is versatile, skilful, he scores goals and he can play either on his own up front or with a partner – so he suits our needs.
“Roma want it decided quickly one way or the other so Harry will have to decide whether he wants to push through with it to the end. There are questions about his attitude and poor form last season, but Harry knows how to get the best out of a confidence player.”
Redknapp wants to add at least two strikers to the first-team squad and will continue to pursue a genuine target man, even if he lands Vucinic.
The club have explored the possibility of signing Emmanuel Adebayor but sources have told Goal.com a deal is unlikely because of the Togolese striker's wage demands and Manchester City's reluctance to sell to a Premier League rival.
Tottenham's strikers badly misfired in front of goal last season and the club are ready to listen to offers for all four of their current forwards – Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, Roman Pavyluchenko and Robbie Keane.
Keane, the Republic of Ireland captain, is the most likely to leave but Spurs are yet to receive an official bid for the 31-year-old, who has been linked with Fulham, Bolton and Blackburn.
Meanwhile, Tottenham have agreed a £2m deal with Siena for Ivory Coast sensation Souleymane Coulibaly, who has been tagged 'the new Didier Drogba'.
Spurs are confident of beating Manchester United and Real Madrid to land the 16-year-old but reports have suggested they face a race against time to resolve a work-permit issue before the transfer window closes at the end of August.