The 25-year-old Argentina international is also attracting attention from Serie A side AS Roma but the Saints believe the proximity of the transfer deadline puts them in pole position to sign the winger.
With Lucas Moura, 25, arriving from Paris St Germain – the deal is expected to complete later today – Lamela faces a spell on the Tottenham bench having just returned from more than a year out due to a thigh injury.
He has 18 months left on his contract and it’s believed the north London club are unwilling at this time to countenance a sale.
However, Lamela needs first-team football to ensure he recovers his place in the Argentina squad in a World Cup year. Roma offers a higher profile in his native land, but he is cup-tied for the Champions League and loses exposure.
Southampton offer him first-team football on a regular basis as the look to escape the bottom three. Swansea City’s win last night pushed the Saints further into the mire with a drop into the Championship becoming ever more realistic.