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Premier League

Tottenham eager to speed up Lewis Holtby transfer from Schalke

Injury to Sandro has caused Spurs to act

Andre Villas-Boas is believed to be attempting to bring forward the club's signing of Lewis Holtby to the current transfer window, as Tottenham face the possibility of central midfielder Sandro missing the rest of the season after undergoing surgery.

A pre-contract agreement has been signed by Holtby with a view to moving to Tottenham from Schalke on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Sandro landed awkwardly during Tottenham's draw with QPR on Saturday and scans confirmed a serious knee injury. The surgery - which the club said had already taken place - and subsequent rehabilitation looks set to keep him out of action for a lengthy period, possibly the remainder of this season.

That injury means that midfielders Jake Livermore and Tom Huddlestone, both being linked with moves away from White Hart Lane this month, could become more involved in Villas-Boas' plans, even if Scott Parker is returning to fitness after his own absence through injury.

Another option is for Tottenham to pay Schalke a cut-price fee to bring forward Holtby's transfer, which the German club may be open to, instead of losing their player for free come the summer. If Holtby is brought in this month, that may pave the way for Livermore to be loaned to QPR and Huddlestone to leave the club, with Fulham reported as being interested.