Tottenham are hoping to snap up Southampton midfielder Adam Lallana from under Liverpool's noses during the summer transfer window after bringing in new manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Spurs are hoping that with the arrival of former Saints boss Pochettino at White Hart Lane, replacing the sacked Tim Sherwood, they now have the edge over the Reds for the England international's signature.
As reported by Dominic Fifield in The Guardian, Spurs feel their new Argentinian manager will be a draw for Lallana:
Mauricio Pochettino has been appointed Tottenham Hotspur’s manager on a five-year contract after resigning at Southampton and Spurs are now seeking to reunite the Argentinian with his former captain, Adam Lallana, at White Hart Lane.
Liverpool have long been interested in signing the 26-year-old and reportedly tabled a bid for the player earlier this month, per the BBC's Francis Keogh:
Lallana was a key part of Southampton's eighth-place finish in the Premier League this season, bagging nine goals and six assists, per WhoScored.com.
His increasing profile, including his first call-up to the England side and his inclusion for the World Cup this summer, has come since Pochettino took charge at St Mary's in January 2013.
Where will Lallana be next season?
Thus, it is certainly not out of the question that Lallana may follow his mentor to north London to join Spurs, who finished sixth in the Premier League during the 2013-14 campaign.
However, Liverpool's second-place Premier League finish and involvement in the Champions League next term will also be a big draw.
Fifield's piece suggests the Anfield outfit's bid in early May was somewhere in the region of £20 million, but the Saints will be hoping to pick up more if they are to offload one of their prized assets.
As the Daily Mirror's David Anderson points out, Spurs and Liverpool may have to wait until after the World Cup to sign Lallana:
It may be hard for Liverpool to land Lallana and Lovren before World Cup because Saints will feel their value will increase if they do well.— David Anderson (@MirrorAnderson) May 19, 2014
The player himself is insistent that his current focus is on the summer's showpiece event in Brazil, not the transfer speculation about him, as reported by Paul Hirst in The Independent:
"Whether my future gets sorted before or after the World Cup makes no difference to me," he said. "I am just fully focused on doing well for England and performing as well as I can."
If Spurs do indeed beat Liverpool to the signing of Lallana, there may be a sense of deja vu amongst the Anfield faithful.
In the most recent January transfer window, Liverpool missed out on the signings of Mohamed Salah and Yevhen Konoplyanka, per Jim Boardman in the Daily Mirror.
Missing out on Lallana would be a huge blow for Liverpool and would put their transfer policy under intense scrutiny while they attempt to add strength and depth to their squad ahead of next season.