Everton have turned the north London side down repeatedly, reportedly turning them away from the 24-year-old.
The Daily Telegraph also suggest the White Hart Lane outfit are targeting the German midfielder.
But the Mirror report that Mauricio Pochettino and co are stepping up their chase for Bender due to Everton's continual rebuffing of their interest in McCarthy.
A brilliant target... but will it happen?
Bender would no doubt bring plenty of experience and calibre to Tottenham's midfield should any move happen. Although success isn't guaranteed when switching leagues, the 26-year-old has generally proven himself to have a touch of class in midfield.
But just what is the likelihood of a Spurs deal actually materialising? So far this summer, the north London side have been linked with a host of midfielders but none have thus far arrived - Everton's McCarthy being a prime example.
Should Dortmund prove easier to deal with than the Toffees, though, Tottenham could have what it takes to tempt the German. They were the best Premier League team outside the top four last term and they could just convince Bender he has what it takes to push the north London side a step further...