AC Milan may have lost their grip on defender Adil Rami after negotiations with Valencia took an unexpected turn, leaving Tottenham with a chance to step in.
The French centre-back spent the second half of last season on loan to Milan and impressed with his solid performances in a team that struggled for consistency.
Milan were keen to agree a permanent deal, but there were suggestions that the financial resources may not be available to do so.
However, last night it appeared that the two clubs had reached a settlement for a £3.1 million deal paid in instalments and Rami appeared to be a Milan player to all intents and purposes.
This could pose a significant problem for Milan as they have been basing their transfer activity on the presumption that they would cash in on Mario Balotelli.
Balotelli's future remains unclear with a reported deal to Arsenal apparently having stalled and Galatasaray the most likely destination.
The delay to the deal may open the door for one of Rami's other suitors with Tottenham, Arsenal and Southampton having been linked with him over the last few months.
Milan will attempt to iron out the difficulties but the next set of talks with Valencia could prove to be crucial.