Tottenham have stepped up interest in Everton midfielder Leon Osman, according to the Metro. The 31-year-old has two years left on his contract with David Moyes' side but is understood to be stalling on talks; he has been offered a new 12-month extension. Osman has made 37 starts for the Toffees this season, across all competitions. He has eight goals and two assists to his name.

Leon Osman (R)

Andre Villas-Boas is believed to want to add quality and depth to his midfield options and it now appears long-time target Joao Moutinho, of FC Porto, will not be moving to north London to join his former manager. AVB has therefore shifted attention to Osman and will offer £6m plus one or two squad players.

Another factor that could pave the way to Spurs signing their man is the uncertainty over Moyes' future at Goodison Park. The long-serving Everton boss enjoys a very strong reputation within the Premier League and has been linked with a move to Old Trafford, when Sir Alex Ferguson eventually retires. The 49-year-old Scot is also in talks with his club over the lack of support in transfer funding, which could also impact his stay at the blue half of Merseyside.

Finally, Osman will likely be open to a move to White Hart Lane should the club ensure a place in European competition for next season. AVB's men have been knocked out of the UEFA Europa League by Swiss champions FC Basel this year but remain firmly in the hunt for a place, at the very least, in the same competition next year.

They could still do one better, though, and qualify for the Champions League. Tottenham are fourth in the Premier League, with a two point lead over Arsenal. The Gunners do, however, have a game in hand over their local rivals.

AVB on Basel Loss

Finally, AVB believes his side's run to the quarter final of the Europa League has changed the way English football views the tournament.

"We are extremely happy for setting a great example for English football and how to approach this competition. To change the mentality towards this competition from one season to the other is very difficult... never an excuse for... underperforming in the Premier League," the ex-Chelsea boss explained.