TOTTENHAM are plotting a move to pip Liverpool in the race to sign Â£8m-rated Thomas Ince.
Spurs made late enquiries about the Blackpool winger when he was set for a return to the Reds in January.
But Liverpoolâ€™s failure to wrap up a deal for Ince, 21, has left the door open for Spurs.
They want to bring him to White Hart Lane this summer and have made regular checks.
They have also reopened talks with the England Under-21 aceâ€™s agents in an attempt to steal a march on their rivals.
Ince was named the Championshipâ€™s Young Player of the Year at Sundayâ€™s Football League awards and is in huge demand.
Ten Premier League clubs are on the trail of the Tangerines star, who has 18 goals and 11 assists to his name this season.
Liverpool still want him back. He left in 2011 for just Â£250,000 compensation.
But Spurs hope their track record of success with players from the Championship will persuade Ince to reject a switch to his former club in favour of joining them.
The likes of Gareth Bale, Kyle Walker and Aaron Lennon have all developed from having Championship potential into established Premier League and international players at Spurs.
The north Londoners reckon they can do the same with Ince.
Liverpool bid Â£5.5m for Ince in January but that was not enough to tempt the Tangerines to sell.
They wanted more because 50 per cent of any fee is due back to Liverpool as a result of a sell-on clause the clubs agreed when Ince moved to Bloomfield Road.