Tottenham Hotspur have reportedly stepped up their interest in Real Madrid wing-back Fabio Coentrao and are now determined to snap up the player before the end of this month.
The Portugal international has been a long-time target for compatriot Andre Villas-Boas, who made several efforts to sign him previously; first with former club Chelsea and later with Spurs. And, according to the Mirror, the north London side's officials are now set to hold negotiations with the 25-year-old's camp, regarding a potential move.
The report claims Spurs' move for Coentrao is not dependent on them reaching an agreement with Madrid for the transfer of Gareth Bale. The La Liga giants have been hot on the heels of the Welshman for most of the summer, but are yet to strike a deal with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.
However, Spurs are understood to be ready to make an approach for Coentrao, regardless of how the Bale transfer saga pans out. The Meringues left-back is currently out-of-favour at the Bernabeu and could be available for around £13m.
Coentrao joined Madrid from Benfica in 2011 for €30m plus Ezequiel Garay. However, despite remaining a star performer for Portugal, the player failed to provide competition to Marcelo for the left-back role and managed just 28 La Liga starts in two years.
The reports says Coentrao has informed Madrid he wants a move away from the Bernabeu this summer. However, Tottenham could still face competition from Turkey and big-spending Ligue 1 side Monaco for the player's services.
Meanwhile, Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti admitted Coentrao could leave the club in this transfer window. Sami Khedira and Angel di Maria have also been linked with an exit but the Italian tactician ruled that out.
"Coentrao is thinking about leaving, but I'd be happy if he stayed because he's a cracking player. Being at Madrid isn't so bad. Khedira isn't going to leave. No player is in a position to leave. Di Maria is also going to stay," the former Chelsea manager stressed.