Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly looking to advance the transfer of German midfielder Lewis Holtby. The 22-year-old German international was to join the White Hart Lane club in the summer of 2013, following the expiry of his Schalke 04 contract. However, an injury to Spurs' Brazil midfielder Sandro means the north London club could be open to the possibility of bringing Holtby into the squad immediately.
The Guardian reports Andre Villas-Boas has also spoken to English internationals Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore, over extended runs in the first team. Both Huddlestone and Livermore are reportedly frustrated over a lack of first team opportunities and were considering transfers away from the club before Sandro's injury. Both players are reportedly the subject of interest from Premier League rivals Fulham, with relegation-threatened QPR also believed to be interested.
23-year-old Sandro injured his knee during last weekend's Premier League fixture against Queens Park Rangers and is unlikely to play again this season. And this means AVB will need reinforcements in the centre of the park, where he now has only Huddlestone, Livermore and veteran England international Scott Parker.
An early transfer for Holtby will mean Spurs will have to pay Schalke a transfer fee because it falls within the player's contract period. However, given the alternative is they will lose him for free in the summer anyway, the German club will likely be satisfied with a nominal fee. AVB did rule out the possibility of an early signing for Holtby but that was before Sandro's injury. The Daily Mail reports the Brazilian has had an operation for the injury in Barcelona.
AVB on Guardiola
Meanwhile, AVB has confessed himself surprised at Pep Guardiola's decision to join Bundesliga side Bayern Munich. The ex-Barcelona manager, one of the most successful in recent seasons, is on a year-long sabbatical after resigning from his post at the Nou Camp. And Bayern have confirmed he will join the Allianz Arena club for the start of the 2013/14 season, when present manager Jupp Heynckes will step down.
AVB said he thought Guardiola would become "one of the greatest managers in football" but also said he didn't expect the Catalan to join the German league.
"I'm so surprised that I asked my media advisor from Tottenham if it was true. Obviously it is a big, big club, one of the biggest clubs in the world, in a league where we didn't maybe expect Guardiola to be in," the ex-Chelsea boss told CNN World Sport.
"I think in Bayern he will find the right set-up to continue, not only to promote his message of football, which is immense, the way he believes in this game and the way he has changed the nature of the game people appreciate it and I think the example that he is. As a person, as a leader, through his professional career and through his coaching career too," AVB concluded.
Guardiola had been heavily linked to a number of Premier League clubs in recent weeks, including Chelsea and Manchester United, as speculation sought to predict where the 41-year-old might return from his self-imposed exile.