Exclusive - Tottenham Hotspur are confident that they will soon be able to strike an agreement to sign Beijing Guoan defender Kim Min-jae.
The 23-year-old, who has been hailed as 'the South Korean Virgil van Dijk', has attracted interest from some of Europe's biggest sides and is widely expected to leave the Chinese Super League side this summer.
Spurs' talks with Kim over a potential transfer began in early July, but a source has confirmed to 90min that two opening bids have already been rejected by Beijing Guoan, who are holding out for close to £15m.
José Mourinho's side are yet to exceed the £10m mark, but there is an optimism that a deal is close and Spurs are confident of reaching an agreement somewhere in the near future.
A source close to the situation said: “Talks are ongoing, two bids have been rejected but everyone around the deal believes the situation will be concluded.”
Mourinho is aware that his side may need some defensive reinforcements this summer. Jan Vertonghen is expected to walk away for free when his contract expires, and there are also doubts over the future of Juan Foyth, who has managed just 65 minutes of Premier League action this season.
Kim's profile has risen enormously over the past few months, but he is a player who has been on Spurs' radar for over three years. He has long been seen as a high-potential prospect, but Spurs now believe he is ready to make the switch to the Premier League.
The Lilywhites are not the only interested side. Liverpool and Manchester City have both monitored Kim recently, while Everton, Inter, RB Leipzig, Porto and Monaco have kept tabs on the 23-year-old, but none have ever felt that the timing was right.
With other sides hesitating, Spurs have taken the opportunity to move ahead in the pursuit of Kim, who already has 30 caps for South Korea.
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As noted by South Korean outlet Sina, Beijing Guoan had planned to sell Kim this summer, but changed their plans and hoped to keep him after the coronavirus outbreak. He has already obtained a visa to remain in China, but his side would be prepared to offload him for the right price.