According to The Mirror, Tottenham Hotspur's injury woes in the heart of midfield will allegedly force manager Mauricio Pochettino to make a January bid for Everton midfielder Ross Barkley.
Spurs were expected to sign a midfielder over the summer, but ended the transfer window without a new addition there as the Daily Mail reported that Barcelona blocked a deadline day move for Andre Gomes.
Missing out on the Portugal international has at least allowed Harry Winks to emerge under Mauricio Pochettino, but the Spurs boss has also been hurt by injuries to key players.
Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama have both suffered injury problems this term, which has handed Winks a greater role whilst also presenting Moussa Sissoko with an opportunity to save his Spurs career.
However, Pochettino would be forgiven for wanting another midfielder in his ranks, and The Mirror report that the recent injuries could force Tottenham to make a move for Everton's Ross Barkley early in January.
It's claimed that Tottenham want Barkley after months of speculation over the summer, and chairman Daniel Levy will pursue a cut-price deal in January to boost Pochettino's numbers in midfield.
Barkley, 23, is expected to leave Everton in January having failed to sign a new contract with the club, and whilst he was thought to be moving on over the summer, a late injury means that he has remained at Goodison Park.
Everton won't want to lose Barkley for free next summer, meaning Tottenham may be sensing a bargain for Barkley, who hit five goals and eight assists for the Toffees last season.
Whether Barkley can play as a central midfielder rather than a No. 10 remains to be seen, but his drive from midfield could see him emerge as a possible replacement for Dembele in midfield, with manager Pochettino potentially confident of coaching some discipline into his game.