By Tony Hughes
Tottenham are in the race to sign Fiorentina midfielder Milan Badelj, according to a report.
The Daily Star claim Spurs and Chelsea are leading the Premier League charge for Badelj ahead of the January transfer window.
It is said that the Serie A star is keen to leave Fiorentina when the window re-opens amid reports in Italy that he has threatened to buy out his own contract in order to force through a move.
The 27-year-old Croatia international, who has faced Spurs four times in the last two seasons of the Europa League, is one of the most admired midfield anchormen in Italian football.
Badelj has made 84 appearances for Fiorentina since joining from Dinamo Zagreb in the summer of 2014, including 12 matches this season.
He has little over 18 months to run on his current deal at Fiorentina, which which expires in June 2018.
The Serie A cluba may therefore be willing to cash in on £7million-rated Badelj before his value is driven down by the passage of time.
Badelj has 25 caps for Croatia and played four times at Euro 2016.
Spurs’ reported interest in the player comes as they work on tying virtually all of their key players down to improved, long-term contracts.
Senior stars Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Kyle Walker, Danny Rose and Christian Eriksen have all signed new deals in recent months, as have fringe duo Tom Carroll and Harry Winks.
In other Tottenham transfer news, this Spurs senior man is in talks for a move to France.