Spurs are weighing up a bid this month for highly-rated South Korea centre-back Kim Min-jae.
Tottenham are ready to step up their interest amid growing concerns of competition from London rivals Chelsea.
The 6ft 3in Beijing Guoan centre-back,24, is nicknamed 'the monster' and is a rising star in Asia.
Spurs were first interested in Heung-min Son's international team-mate in the close season after Jan Vertonghen left.
Now they are plotting a fresh move as Chelsea could be about to enter the race.
The Stamford Bridge club famously hi-jacked Spurs' move for Willian in August 2013 to snatch the Brazilian from under their noses in a £30million deal.
Tottenham chiefs are anxious to avoid a similar embarrassing and frustrating scenario.
Min-jae's contract expires in December 2021 and his club in the Chinese capital are ready to cash in.
Spurs boss Jose Mourinho was critical of his side's defending after the 1-1 home draw with Fulham this week.
But he insisted afterwards he was “not expecting” the club to be busy in the transfer window.
Min-jae's sale would be an early blow for new Beijing boss Slaven Bilic who took over this month on a two-year contract.
He is preparing for the new campaign after the club came third last term.
Min-jae has three goals in 30 appearances for his country and won a gold medal at the 2018 Asian games.
He moved to China in January 2019 from Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors after winning the K League in 2017 and 2018 in his homeland.
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