Stuttgart’s Hiroki Ito has a release clause of €30m (£26m) in his contract amid interest in the defender from the Premier League.
Tottenham are one of the clubs said to be interested in a deal to sign the Japan international in January, as Ange Postecoglou looks to bring in much needed depth to his backline.
Micky van de Ven is currently sidelined until the new year with a hamstring injury, leaving Spurs short of recognised options at centre-back.
Spurs started with full-back pair Ben Davies and Emerson Royal in central defence during the club’s 2-1 loss to Aston Villa at the weekend, with Cristian Romero suspended and teenager Ashley Phillips also absent.
Ito has won admirers for his performances at Stuttgart, who are third in the Bundesliga table after an excellent start to the campaign. The 24-year-old – who can operate at centre-back or full-back – ranks among the Bundesliga’s leading players for touches and passes into the final third this season.
Ito also ranks among the 90th percentile, or higher, of defenders in Europe’s top leagues for progressive passes, passes attempted, progressive passes received and shot-creating actions.
Postecoglou, who spent time coaching in Japan at Yokohama F. Marinos, had success with Japanese imports during his time at Celtic with Kyogo Furuhashi, Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda all becoming key parts of his successful side in Glasgow.