Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed that they reached an agreement with Schalke to bring forward Lewis Holtby's transfer to White Hart Lane.
The 22-year-old had already agreed to join Spurs, when his contract with the Bundesliga outfit expires in the summer. However, the transfer has now been pushed ahead, for a fee understood to be in the region of £1.5m.
"We are delighted to announce that we have reached agreement with Schalke for the immediate transfer of Lewis Holtby. The Germany Under-21 captain, who had already agreed terms to join the club this coming summer, has made 27 appearances for the Bundesliga side this season scoring four times ," read a statement on the club's Web site.
"Capped on three occasions by the senior German national side, the versatile midfielder joined Schalke in 2009 from Alemannia Aachen and was loaned out to Bochum and Mainz prior to making his breakthrough with the Gelsenkirchen-based club. Lewis has made 160 appearances in his career to date, scoring 29 times."
Holtby could now make his Tottenham debut in the midweek Premier League game against Norwich City at Carrow Road, as the north London club attempt to bounce back from their FA Cup defeat to Leeds United at the weekend.
AVB Hails Leeds
Meanwhile, Andre Villas-Boas has praised Leeds for being competitive against Spurs. The Championship outfit defeated the Premier League giants 2-1 at Elland Road in the fourth round of the FA Cup, knocking them out of the competition.
"We always had to chase the game at 1-0 and then 2-0 made it even more difficult. The players did extremely well to come back into the game at 2-1, but we couldn't create as many opportunities as we normally do," the Portuguese tactician pointed out.
"That was down to Leeds and how they set up, they got into our faces and made it difficult for us, so credit for them for being so competitive. We didn't have a lot of space, maybe more in the first half and less in the second because they gained inspiration from going 2-0 up," Villas-Boas added.