Spurs have been locked in talks with Atalanta over a move for centre-back Romero, who has a €60m price tag.
The defender is open to joining Spurs, but they are still trying to reach an agreement with the Serie A side over his fee, having seen their initial bid for him rejected.
But it has emerged that Spanish giants Barcelona have entered the race for Romero’s signature and have tabled a loan offer for him with a purchase option, which would also see a Blaugrana star go the other way.
However, according to Italian outlet Tutto Mercato, Atalanta have knocked back Barcelona’s initial offer for Romero, in a boost for Spurs.
The Catalans are set to try again and want talks with Atalanta, but it is suggested they are unlikely to propose a significantly improved offer given their financial struggles.
Romero remains Spurs’ top defensive target but they have also identified alternative targets in Chelsea man Kurt Zouma and Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic.
It remains to be seen whether the north London giants will return to the negotiating table with an improved bid for Romero in the coming weeks amidst growing competition for his signature.