Spurs target Rossi is available for £16.5m

The Villarreal striker Giuseppe Rossi who is being tracked by Tottenham Hotspur this month has a buy-out clause in his contract worth around €40m (£33m) but the Spanish club are understood to be willing to accept half that for a player who only has 18 months left on his deal.

Rossi is one of a number of strikers whom Spurs have looked at this month and is emerging as one of the favourites. They had scouted him before he impressed in a 4-1 victory for Villarreal against Spurs in a pre-season game in July.

The Italy international, who spent three years at Manchester United, is showing no signs of agreeing a new deal at his Spanish club and will certainly be sold before the end of next season in order to realise some value for Villarreal. The question for Spurs is whether they make a move this month or risk greater competition for the player, who is not Champions League cup-tied, in the summer.

Spurs' new signing Steven Pienaar spoke for the first time yesterday about his move from Everton and said that the chance to play alongside his former Ajax team-mate Rafael van der Vaart was a major factor in joining the club. "The style of football is really important," he said. "I played with Rafa at Ajax and we played attacking football and I want to be in a team that plays attacking football that is exciting for the supporters.

"We were both young, but even then he was a really good player, he was my captain at Ajax and I'm happy with the way things have worked out for him so far. I am definitely looking forward to playing with him again. But not just Rafa, all the players here because the football is exciting, it makes me excited and I can't wait. That is one of the reasons I decided to join Spurs.

"I hope to bring a lot of energy, creativity and of course hard work to the team," Pienaar added. "I always put the team before myself and I think that's important as a player. Of course, as a player, you want to play in a good team and challenge yourself and that's what I always try to do as an individual. Every footballer wants to play in the big games. I've got some good history against Milan because I scored against them in the Champions League so if I do get an opportunity against them with Spurs, hopefully I'll do the same again.

"One of my team-mates with the national team plays here [Bongani Khumalo] and he told me about the club, that it's a big club on the up."