LYON have signed Brazilian midfielder Jean Lucas – paving the way for Tanguy Ndombele to join Tottenham.
But Lyon did not want to sell until they had brought in at least one replacement.
Now the French club have signed Lucas, 21, from Flamengo, Tottenham can step up their efforts to land Ndombele.
Spurs, after not making a single signing in the previous two transfer windows, are keen to bolster their midfield and have been monitoring Ndombele since he burst onto the scene at minnows Amiens.
He then joined Lyon on loan in August 2017 before making the move permanent.
He impressed as they finished third last season to qualify for the Champions League.
Lyon were confident of keeping him after offering him a new deal.
But their hopes were dealt a blow when he told Le Progres last month: “I’ve told my agents and the club I’m not fixed yet and I’ve not made a decision on whether to stay at the club.”
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Fearing he will now leave, Lyon have slapped a £70m price tag on his head – although Tottenham believe there is a deal to be done and they could get him for nearer £60m.
Ndombele, 22, has won four senior caps for France and is seen as the natural successor to Chelsea star Kante in the Les Bleus line-up.
His arrival at Tottenham could see Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama leave the club as they look to refresh their midfield.