With the January transfer window just around the corner, have Premier League outfit Tottenham Hotspur been looking to steal a march on their rivals?
Those hoping to strike early in the New Year will already be in the process of sounding out targets and assessing the likelihood of a deal being done.
Among those said to be interesting Spurs is Sampdoria forward Manolo Gabbiadini.
Mauricio Pochettino has seen Harry Kane catch fire this season, and Roberto Soldado show signs of life over recent weeks, but attacking reinforcements would be welcomed at White Hart Lane.
They have been offered encouragement by Sampdoria’s recent benching of Gabbiadini, with that considered to be a sign that they are exploring other options prior to sanctioning a sale.
His representative will not admit as much, but Silvio Pagliari has revealed that several clubs – from Serie A and across Europe – have contacted him regarding the availability of his client.
He said on the official website of his agency: “It’s normal that there’s interest in a player like Manolo, both in our league and abroad.
“I’ve received a few phonecalls, and I repeat, they were from both foreign and Italian clubs. I was asked for information about the lad, who I can guarantee is focussed completely on Sampdoria at the moment.
“Although it’s always nice to be sought after, the market isn’t open for another month, and we’ll be hearing a lot of rumours until then.”
Will Spurs be keeping his number to hand, allowing them to pounce when the window swings open?
Gabbiadini certainly appears to fit the bill, with the 23-year-old an option for the present and future and one who has four years of senior football under his belt despite still being relatively young.
He is also a forward who is both comfortable in the air and with the ball at his feet so, while he has never been prolific, he should be able to slip seamlessly into the passing brand of football Pochettino favours in north London.