By Editor Wayne Veysey | Former Evening Standard, Press Association and Goal chief correspondent with 17 years experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this
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Tottenham have begun preliminary talks with Marseille about a deal to sign Michy Batshuayi, Football Insider sources understand.
As revealed by Football Insider, Spurs have made the the France-based striker one of their top targets this summer as they aim to beef up their forward line.
Chelsea, Liverpool and West Ham are among the clubs also monitoring the Belgium international but Spurs are in the driving seat to land the forward, who is rated in the £30million-plus bracket by his club.
A well-placed source has told Football Insider that Tottenham chiefs are trying to drive the price down for Batshuayi in discussions with cash-strapped Marseille.
But the French big-hitters are adamant that the 22-year-old will not leave for less than £30million and are content to wait until later in the summer to see what other interest there is in their prize asset.
Spurs have started to explore alternative and cheaper options, including AZ Alkmaar spearhead Vincent Janssen as they press ahead with plans to strengthen their attack this summer.
There is a strong possibility the Londoners could sign two new forwards during the transfer window ahead of their return to the Champions League next season.
Batshuayi has scored 24 goals and supplied 10 assists in 51 matches in all competitions for Marseille this season, including 17 goals and nine assists from 36 Ligue 1 encounters.
He is a member of Belgium’s Euro 2016 squad but was an unused substitute as his team lost 2-0 to Italy in their opening match on Monday night, with Romelu Lukaku and Divock Origi the two strikers given game time.
Pochettino told French radio station RMC Sport last month that Batshuayi is one of the strikers on Spurs’ radar as they look to bolster a forward line heavily reliant upon Harry Kane.
“We look for a striker this summer,” Pochettino said, when asked specifically about Batshuayi. “This player is young and has a lot of talent. We are following him. Logically, he should be on the list of many clubs.
In other Tottenham transfer news, Thierry Henry is convinced the club will lure big-name signings in the forthcoming windows.