Fabio Coentrao
Fabio Coentrao has struggled for game time this season under Carlo Ancelotti. [Reuters] Reuters

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is hoping to convince Fabio Coentrao to leave Real Madrid in January as he attempts to find a solution to the problematic left-back role.

Having allowed Benoit Assou-Ekotto to join Queens Park Rangers on a season-long loan, Spurs have been forced to use a number of different players at left-back this season with Danny Rose, Kyle Naughton and Jan Vertonghen all used in this position.

Vertonghen has now said he is happy to fill in at left-back but he prefers to play in a central position, while neither Rose or Naughton have experience of playing at the very highest level.

Contreao was chased by Tottenham in the summer and was said to be close to leaving the Spanish giants only for Madrid to decide to keep him when Guilherme Siqueira decided to join Benfica instead of moving to the Bernebeu.

However, the Portuguese defender has failed to earn a place in the first team this season with manager Carlo Ancelotti instead preferring to play Marcelo.

The Evening Standard reports that Tottenham could land Coentrao on an initial loan deal as it is yet unclear as to whether Madrid would consider selling him on a permanent basis in January.

Coentrao will certainly want to play regular football in the second half of this season as it will further enhance his chances of making the Portugal squad that could be going to the World Cup if they come through a qualifying double-header against Sweden.

The 25-year-old may be out of favour now but he has played nearly 70 times for Madrid since moving there from Benfica in the summer of 2011 and he would bring a wealth of top level experience.

He featured in 20 league games in the season Madrid won the league title and has consistently played in European competition for both the Spanish side and Benfica.