Tottenham Hotspur is set to test Valencia's resolve by making a record $80 million bid for David Villa, but the Spanish club will still hope to persuade the star striker to stay.

The north London club is set to finance what would be a British transfer record by selling Dimitar Berbatov to Manchester United, according to reports in England.

In Spain, things are slightly more sober with Villa's agent having held talks on the telephone and in person with Valencia officials about an improved deal.

José Luis Tamargo has been negotiating with los Ché since the 26-year-old returned from his extended holidays and it is believed that the club will announce that he has penned a new agreement.

That could all mean nothing if Tottenham does make a mega-offer because the Spanish side's new president, Vicente Soriano, has already hinted that the books need balancing.

Interim chief Juan Villalonga stated that he would prevent both Villa and David Silva from leaving, but his time in charge was brief and now a new regime is having to work out how to handle the club's debts.

Selling one of both of its star assets would not go down well with fans as has been proven by the protests that have already begun among supporters' clubs.

But in England they consider that Tottenham's offer could be enough to make the Valencia hierarchy believe that a sale is justified and would give Juande Ramos the star man he has wanted all summer.

Robbie Keane's departure would be quickly forgotten should the Euro 2008 star move to White Hart Lane, but Berbatov would need a replacement if he were to be allowed to leave.

Villa is said to have commented in the past that he would not be adverse to joining Tottenham despite the absence of Champions League football and Tamargo has said: "David likes London and likes how Spurs play under Ramos. If they present an offer, Valencia will seriously study the subject."

The offer of around $250,000 per week may ease the fact that the player will only have the UEFA Cup to fulfill his European ambitions, an amount that would shatter Tottenham's current wage structure.

Whether Daniel Levy is really prepared to go against his principles and give one player such a huge salary could be the key to the truth of the English reports and if he is not then a new contract at Mestalla looks set to be Villa's next move.

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