Luka Modric's dream move to Real Madrid has now reached a complete standstill with neither the wealthy Spanish club nor Spurs willing to budge on the player's valuation.
Real are prepared to increase their bid for Modric to £33 million, but that includes £5 million worth of add-ons and falls well shy of Spurs' demands of close to £40 million.
Spurs would accept £35 million plus future payments related to Real's success, but the La Liga champions have called a halt to discussions and refuse to go any higher to land the Croatia international.
The North London club have said no to any player makeweights in a deal, but again that might be a way of unblocking the logjam.
ESPN's source said on Saturday evening: "The big mistake with Modric occurred a year ago when Chelsea offered £40 million and Spurs turned it down. Now Spurs will not get their price of £40 million so it is proving very, very difficult for Modric to go to Real Madrid.
"It is very simple, Spurs will have to lower their price or they will have to keep him."
Ironically, it was Andre Villas-Boas who was manager at Chelsea when the West London club made their bid and Modric was so keen to move, but now with the Portuguese at White Hart Lane he still wants out.
Villas-Boas might feel he would prefer to keep Modric, but the player is adamant he wants to go to Real.
Jose Mourinho has also made it clear Nuri Sahin can go on loan, and if Spurs opted to take him as part of the Modric deal that would be a perfect resolution - and would also put one over on Arsenal who have been strongly tipped to land Sahin.