Tottenham are in talks with Schalke to accelerate Lewis Holtby's move to White Hart Lane and sign the midfielder in the current transfer window, Goal.com understands.
The German playmaker has penned a pre-contract agreement to move to Spurs on a free transfer when his contract with the Bundesliga side expires at the end of the season, but the Londoners are now looking to push through a deal worth around £1.6 million this month.
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After initially ruling out a move for the midfielder in January, Villas-Boas also accepts that he is again unlikely to land top target Joao Moutinho from Porto and Holtby would add creativity to a side that looked short of ideas in their goalless draw with QPR last weekend.
He told reporters: "When you reach an agreement with a player that is a free transfer in the summer, there is always that possibility, but it is not something we are looking to do."
Schalke, who signed Brazil playmaker Raffael on Wednesday, are keen to strike a deal to sell the 22-year-old in January in order to ensure they receive a transfer fee for the player, who joined them from Alemmannia Aachen in 2009.
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Sandro’s injury has also forced Spurs to put Jake Livermore’s loan move to QPR on hold as they consider signing more midfield reinforcements to boost their push for a top-four finish.
Scott Parker’s return from injury has given Tottenham a welcome boost but Sandro has formed a formidable midfield partnership with Mousa Dembele in recent months.
The Brazilian landed awkwardly on his right knee against QPR last Saturday and underwent surgery in Barcelona after scans on the problem. Specialists will wait for the swelling to subside and assess the results of the surgery before pencilling in a return date.