Tottenham close on £30m Lamela after Chelsea lure Willian

Tottenham are confident of securing a £30 million deal for Roma winger Erik Lamela to make up for the disappointment of Chelsea hijacking their deal for Brazilian playmaker Willian.

Representatives from the Italian club were reported to be in London last week for talks with Spurs over the 21-year-old Argentinian, who is rated as one of the most exciting young prospects in Serie A.

Under the deal, Spurs are understood to be paying around £26m for Lamela with bonuses of up to £4m depending on his success at White Hart Lane. Lamela's brother, Brian, tweeted on Thursday: "Erik is more than sure to go to England."

Lamela has been included in Roma's squad to face Livorno today despite advanced negotiations over a transfer which would see him sign a five-year deal at Spurs.

The north London club are reinforcing their squad ahead of Gareth Bale's world-record £86m switch to Real Madrid and had been planning for Lamela to team up with Willian, the Anzhi Makhachkala forward.

The 25-year-old underwent a medical with Spurs last week but Chelsea hijacked the deal by offering Willian an increased financial package and the chance to play in this season's Champions League.

Roman Abramovich's club are prepared to pay around £32m to Anzhi even though Jose Mourinho, Chelsea's manager, already has a wealth of options in attacking positions behind a central striker.

Willian was pictured in London last Wednesday before Chelsea came in with their 11th-hour bid. "The best thing to do is to do the medical in secret," said Mourinho. "After that, when you sign the contract with the club and the player, you say 'done'."

In the absence of Bale, who is injured, and either of his preferred replacements, Tottenham's manager Andre Villas-Boas played Nacer Chadli, their new £7m Belgian winger and Andros Townsend, a homegrown talent, in their 5-0 Europa League win against Dinamo Tbilisi.

Villas-Boas, whose side beat Crystal Palace 1-0 last week, says he is happy with how his team have played without Bale.

"Whenever a team is missing an important player it is a chance for other players to step up their game," said the Portuguese coach.

"In the end there will always be an opportunity for other people to shine through. Other players are now taking that responsibility on board.

"A player like Andros Townsend is doing that for example but others can follow the same footsteps.

"We have done well in the games against Crystal Palace and Tbilisi. Our game is more collective and we are able to score inside the six-yard box which was not very common for us last season."

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