Tottenham's search for a forward has become rougher than finding a needle in a haystack.
In the last week, two of Tottenham's rumored targets at the position decided to commit their futures elsewhere.
On Friday, Manchester City made their signing of Sevilla's Alvaro Negredo official, and Aston Villa's Christian Benteke committed his future to the Villains instead of opting to leave the club this summer.
Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke withdraws transfer request & signs four-year contract at Villa - details on #ssn— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) July 19, 2013
Both situations prove how fast the winds of the transfer window can shift and affect a club that are still in search of their elusive forward prospect.
Currently on the depth chart, manager Andre Villas-Boas has Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor to work with at the position.
Based off of last season's lack of production from both players, AVB will desperately want to bring in a proven goalscorer so he can avoid relying on superstar Gareth Bale for every single goal.
If for some reason Villas-Boas fails to find a player at the position from the transfer market, he could look inward and give American Clint Dempsey a chance to prove himself at the position.
Dempsey has been a consistent goalscorer in the EPL with Spurs and before that at Fulham, but he has been the topic of a move out of North London ever since the arrival of Brazilian midfielder Paulinho.
Tottenham have made American Clint Dempsey available for transfer. (Source: Times)— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) July 12, 2013
While Dempsey is a very reliable player, it is hard to believe that AVB will not capture the signature of at least one forward before the transfer window slams shut at the end of August.
So who exactly should AVB target now that almost every rumored target of the club has deferred a move to White Hart Lane in favor of another club, or in Benteke's case, the club he played at last season?
It looks like the answer to the question that becomes more challenging by the week could end up being Valencia's Roberto Soldado.
Paul Brown of The Daily Star reported on Friday that Spurs had sent in an improved bid to the cash-strapped Spanish club, who in recent years, has sold stars like David Villa and David Silva in big money moves to help fund expenses at the club.
Brown's report quoted Los Che president Amadeo Salvo on the prospect of the deal between Spurs and Valencia.
“The English team knows the situation. Valencia needs money. But we don’t have to sell our best player.”
-Amadeo Salvo, via The Daily Star, July 19, 2013.
The money situation at Valencia is one that is known to almost everyone who follows Spanish football, but with that being said, they will not sell their star player just for the sake of selling.
Valencia need to do good business on the sale of Soldado, and if that means making Tottenham raise their bid once more, they will do just that.
If Tottenham decide not to pursue the capture of Soldado, they would have to re-evaluate where they stand in the search for a new forward.
Spurs could always revert back to their long, well-documented chase of Internacional's Leandro Damiao, who has been mentioned along with the club several times in the last year.
However, the Damiao pursuit may be a lost cause, as Ben Jefferson of The Express reports that the 23-year-old Brazilian sharpshooter may be forced to stay at his current club until after the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
If Damiao does move overseas to North London and fails to succeed, he could lose out on the chance to play in front of his home crowd at next summer's World Cup.
While a third forward has not yet arrived at Tottenham this summer, one thing is for sure about their chase for one, and that is that their time is quickly beginning to run out.
How do you think Tottenham will approach their forward acquisition process now?
Comment below or leave me a comment on Twitter, @JTansey90.