Andre Villas-Boas makes £15m Leandro Damiao only Tottenham transfer target

Spurs manager wants Daniel Levy to bring Brazilian striker in to White Hart Lane

Andre Villas-Boas has made just one transfer request to Daniel Levy - bring Leandro Damiao to Tottenham before the transfer window closes.

AVB is prepared to soldier on without another senior striker, despite the injury fears surrounding Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor’s absence on international duty, but the Portuguese manager would still like his chairman to make another attempt to sign the Brazil centre-forward.

Tottenham chairman Levy has pursued Leandro, who plays for Internacional, since the summer of 2011 but the complicated nature of the deal means Spurs have so far been unable to complete it.

With many different parties claiming to have an economic interest in Leandro, the £15m transfer has proved difficult to bring over the line.

The Evening Standard understands that until now, Levy’s preference has been to revisit the deal in the summer. Yet the shortage of options in attack at White Hart Lane and Villas-Boas’ admiration for Leandro, mean he could reconsider in the next 48 hours.

The complex nature of the Leandro negotiations means the chances of his arrival this month remain slim, however.

Levy has other irons in the fire and it is believed he is monitoring closely the positions of Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo and Celtic’s Gary Hooper. Celtic are demanding £8m for Hooper, who is also being pursued by Norwich.

Sevilla are, meanwhile, keen to find a buyer for Negredo to ease their financial situation. While Tottenham have a high regard for the 27-year-old Spain international and tried to sign him in both 2009 and 2011, it is thought they would be unwilling to pay the £15m Sevilla are asking. That price could drop before the window closes, given Sevilla’s need for funds. Negredo scored in the club’s 3-0 victory over Granada yesterday, his ninth La Liga goal of the season.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Diame is still a target but Arsenal are believed to be in pole position to sign the West Ham midfielder, who has a £3.5m release clause written into his contract. Spurs have already strengthened in midfield, completing a move for Lewis Holtby six months ahead of schedule.

Schalke and Tottenham agreed a £1.25m deal yesterday and the 22-year-old was in London this morning after taking a 6am flight from Germany. The plan was for Holtby to travel to his new club’s Enfield training base to meet his team-mates today but he will not play in tomorrow’s Premier League match against Norwich at Carrow Road.

The Germany international, who has an English father, has also played in a deeper midfield role but Mousa Dembele believes he and Scott Parker form an excellent partnership in that area, despite Sandro’s absence with a serious knee injury.

Dembele said: “Sandro did superbly but Scott is a different kind of player and he can be important as well. I have played a few games with him now and I like his style. It’s not as though our standard has dropped, because Scott is at a very high level as well.”

January transfer window: The players to watch over the coming days  

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