Tottenham considering bid for Ajax playmaker Christian Eriksen

Dane would prefer move to Barcelona rather than White Hart Lane

Tottenham are giving serious consideration to making a formal bid for Ajax playmaker Christian Eriksen during the January transfer window.

The Dane is one of the most coveted young players in Europe and has been followed by the north London club for some time.

When Spurs officials were concluding a deal for Jan Vertonghen last summer, it is believed they also discussed the future of Eriksen, 20, with their Ajax counterparts. At the time, Ajax would not let Eriksen leave but circumstances have changed. Eriksen has declined to sign a new deal and, with his contract due to expire at the end of next season, Ajax are weighing up their options.

Spurs believe Ajax would now be more open to offers for Eriksen, who is valued at about £20million report The Evening Standard.

Eriksen said in a recent interview his dream was to play for Barcelona but he would be unlikely to gain a regular place in what is probably Europe’s strongest team. Unlike in recent winter transfer windows, Spurs are willing to spend. Andre Villas-Boas’s principal target remains Willian, of Shakhtar Donetsk, but the Ukrainians believe they have a chance to challenge for the Champions League and want to keep the Brazilian attacker until the end of the campaign.

Similarly, Joao Moutinho, for whom Spurs bid £22m in the summer, seems to have drifted out of their reach, as Porto have no need to sell following the departure of Hulk to Zenit St Petersburg in the autumn.

Villas-Boas is confident that funds will be released in January and bidding seriously for Eriksen would send a strong signal of the club’s determination to qualify for the Champions League next season.

Spurs need to reach Europe’s main club competition to improve their chances of hanging on to Gareth Bale but the Welshman is likely to be missing again when they face Swansea on Sunday having, prior to today, not trained this week. There was better news regarding Mousa Dembele, who took part in sessions despite concerns about his hip complaint.

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