Real Madrid are planning a swoop for Tottenham midfielder Paulinho in January, according to the Metro.

White hart Lane has been a happy hunting ground for Madrid, who have bought the likes of Luka Modric and Gareth Bale for a combined fee of more than £100m over the past couple of seasons. The Spurs bought Paulinho last summer and the Brazilian has adjusted seamlessly into life in north London and has been one of Tottenham's best players till date.

The midfielder is also an important part in Brazil's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and played an influential part in the host nation retaining the Confederations Cup earlier in 2013.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti is a huge fan of the midfielder and is willing to pay up to £30m for his services, with Xabi Alonso yet to sign a new contract with the men in white. His arrival will add some much needed steel to their midfield, with Sami Khedira currently out with a cruciate ligament injury, leaving Madrid's back line vulnerable to counter attacks.

However, the player is reportedly out for a month after sustaining an injury after a collision with Charlie Adam which may pose a problem should the Spanish giants decide to make a swoop.

Tottenham will take on Manchester United on New Year's Day at Old Trafford as they look to skip past the defending English Champions. A win here will take them three points above United and in a good position for a place in the Champions League. Midfielder Christian Eriksen believes that the players should play with freedom and take the attack to the opposition.

"I'd like us to go there and play like we did [against Stoke]. We'll still get the space and just need to take our chances. United are a better team than Stoke and we have respect for them, but we have to be on our toes and go there and play a good game. I played there with Ajax [in a Europa League tie in February 2012] and it was a big thing for young players. We won and played a very good game," Paulinho said.