Diego Capel
Diego Capel in action against Porto for Sporting Lisbon. [Reuters]

Tottenham Hotspur are looking to beat Liverpool to the signing of Sporting Lisbon's Diego Capel and have already approached the Portuguese club about landing the flying winger.

Reports last week suggested that cash-strapped Sporting would have to sell Capel in January as they need to raise capital, news that had alerted Liverpool to his availability.

The former Sevilla winger would even be available for a cut-price fee of just £5m and with Brendan Rodgers making it clear he wanted to further strengthen his squad in the new year, it seems Anfield could be a possible destination for the Spaniard.

However, it seems Liverpool will have major competition as Italian publication Tutto Mercato reports that Tottenham have lodged an enquiry with Sporting as they seek to win the race to sign the 25-year-old.

Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas knows the Portuguese market well from his time as Porto manager and may well be thinking of further improving his attacking options in January after seeing his side lose 1-0 at home to Newcastle.

Tottenham have scored just nine goals in 11 Premier League games this season and have slipped down to seventh in the table after suffering their third defeat of the season.

The north London club do already have a number of wingers in their ranks with Aaron Lennon, Andros Townsend, Erik Lamela and Glyfi Sigurdsson all used in wide area already this season.

Yet it seems Capel could be arriving at White Hart Lane to add yet more competition as Villas-Boas looks to build a squad that can finally claim a top four finish and a return to Champions League competition.

Capel is certainly an experienced performer having played in European competition consistently for Sevilla and Sporting, while he has also been capped twice by Spain, though these appearances came back in 2008.

Should he be offered the chance to come to the Premier League then it is unlikely he would reject the chance as it may well put him back on the radar of Spain boss Vicente del Bosque ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.