Spurs in bid for Baptista

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Sevilla claim Tottenham Hotspur have now lodged the biggest bid for coveted striker Julio Baptista.

Spurs are jostling with North London rivals Arsenal in the race to sign Baptista, who has still to make a firm decision on his future.

Baptista has previously stressed he wants to stay in Spain for another season so he can acquire a European passport.

Barcelona have been in contact with the Brazil international while Arsenal and Spurs are hoping to tempt Baptista to The Premiership ahead of schedule.

Arsenal have already had two bids for the powerful hit-man rejected, while Sevilla revealed an unnamed club lodged a ‚é¼20 million (£13.5 million) offer on Friday.

That figure has now been topped, according to Sevilla, by Spurs after the Spanish side confirmed on their official website that they have received an offer above ‚é¼20 million.

Sevilla president Jose Maria Del Nido has recently been pessimistic about the prospect of Baptista staying at Sanchez Pizjuan but he now concedes time is running out for the striker.

"It's going to be difficult for him to leave," said Del Nido.

"Time is passing by and there are fewer days in order for clubs to make higher offers than what we have received so far."

It is unclear whether Baptista would favour a move to White Hart Lane, particularly as Arsenal could offer him UEFA Champions League football should he quit Sevilla this summer.

Del Nido is still considering potential replacements for Baptista, with Real Sociedad's injured forward Nihat Kahveci the latest to be linked, following Albert Luque and Javier Saviola.

Title w/out big 4: Everton 7/2 Newcastle 7/2 Spurs 4/1 Boro 7/1
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