Sevilla have claimed Tottenham have lodged a bid of more than 20 million euros (£13.75m) for their Brazilian forward Julio Baptista.

Arsenal have led the race to sign the 23-year-old Brazilian, but have already had a 20 million euros (£13.75m) offer rejected.

A statement on Sevilla’s official website said “The most important offer that we have received is that of Tottenham, of more than 20m Euros.”

Sevilla president Jose Maria Del Nido said: “Time is passing by and there are fewer days in order for clubs to make higher offers than what we have received.”

Arsenal have money to spend in the transfer market following the £13.75m sale of Patrick Vieira to Juventus. However the money will arrive in instalments. An initial fee of £6.9m is due immediately with further payments of £3.4m due in July 2006 and July 2007.