The signing of Willian, the Brazilian attacker, from Anzhi Makhachkala will be the third time the club has broken its transfer record this summer.
It is a measure of their ambitions that they may do so again. The strategy of technical director Franco Baldini has been to aggressively pursue a series of quality additions to the squad and try to complete business before the final days of the transfer window. The expectation was that this would be a summer when the club was vulnerable to the departure of Gareth Bale, but the response was to turn it into an opportunity.
The aim is to establish Spurs as regular competitors in the Champions League. A summit between Joe Lewis, the club's majority shareholder, and Daniel Levy, the chief executive, resulted in a change in policy for this season. Real Madrid's established interest in Bale was a factor, but more significant was the hierarchy's faith in Andre Villas-Boas. The manager turned down approaches from two clubs during the summer - thought to be Napoli and Paris St-Germain - because he wants to build something lasting at White Hart Lane. Lewis and Levy also see the value of a sustained relationship, since they are prepared to back his judgment in a way that they were not with his predecessor Harry Redknapp.
This has been a summer of transformation for Spurs. The team needed elite additions in attack and midfield, but also greater strength in depth, having lost out to rivals Arsenal for fourth place on the final day of last season. Lewis made a transfer fund available, thought to be in the region of £50m, knowing that Bale's departure would offset the costs. The original intent was to persuade the Welshman to stay at White Hart Lane until next summer, while stockpiling new signings, and perhaps even mount a challenge for the Barclay's Premier League title.
Bale is adamant that he wants to leave for Madrid, though, and the expected signing of Erik Lamela, the Argentinian attacker from Roma, is widely thought to be his replacement. Willian, whose arrival for around £30m was all but completed yesterday, has long been a target for Villas-Boas and was brought in to improve creativity. The focus has been on improving options in the squad as much as the starting line-up, but the additions will mostly be first-choice players.
The strategy is not confined to the team. NBC used a 40ft poster of Bale draped across a corner of New York's Times Square to promote the television company's coverage of the Premier League and while Lewis's long-term aim might be to further raise the value of the club, there are still commercial advances to be made. Levy is committed to buidling a new stadium, and naming rights are expected to be sold at some stage. By establishing Spurs as a top-four club, and title contender, those targets can be made more realistic.
The onus is on Villas-Boas. Bale was the outstanding performer last season, but lasting success will not be built on an individual. Roberto Soldado will fill the central striking role, with Emmanuel Adebayor already told to find a new club and Jermaine Defoe also linked with a move away, while Paulinho will bring dynamism to the midfield. Spurs have already offloaded William Gallas, Steven Caulker, Clint Dempsey, Scott Parker and Tom Huddlestone, with Benoit Assou-Ekotto likely next to leave.
The upgrade is expensive, but Villas-Boas is trusted to make the most of the investment, since Baldini is a well-connected figure. The Italian has been planning for Bale's departure for more than a month, and the signings will offset fan disappointment when the deal with Madrid is secured. The expenditure is a one-off, since Lewis will not provide a large fund each year - it would run counter to UEFA's financial fair play rules - and because Spurs will not be selling somebody for around £90m every 12 months. By making the most of this chance, they hope to tap into the Champions League revenue, but also move up a tier and so only need to modify the squad each season. It is a gamble, but with Arsenal struggling to adopt a coherent transfer policy, and Liverpool only slowly advancing back towards the elite level, Spurs can make significant headway.
"They're one of the best teams," said Jose Mourinho, the Chelsea manager. "They can win the title."