Andre Villas-Boas is hoping his relationship with Porto winger Christian Atsu will be enough to persuade the youngster to join him at Tottenham Hotspur this summer.

It was Villas-Boas that handed Atsu his first team debut when he was in charge at Porto but he has since struggled to become a regular in the first team, and this season has started just six league games.

Christian Atsu
Christian Atsu first came to prominence while playing for Portuguese side Rio Ave. [Reuters]

The 20-year-old has been involved on a further eight occasions as a substitute but he has thus far refused to sign a new contract with Porto and will now have just one year remaining come the end of the season.

The Mirror suggests that Porto have accepted that they will need to cash in on the winger, rather than risk losing him on a free when his contract expires.

This leaves the Portuguese champions in a difficult situation as they may not be able to command the full £8million which is reported to be in his release clause.

Tottenham have been left short of natural wingers in recent weeks with Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon both suffering injuries, while their one other out-and-out wide man Andros Townsend has been on-loan with Queens Park Rangers since January.

That has left Villas-Boas with few options and he has been forced to move Mousa Dembele out of the middle, where he has had the greatest influence, and onto the right on a number of occasions.

With central midfielders forced to play on the wing, Tottenham have lacked that natural width and struggled against FC Basel as they were eventually knocked out of the Europa League on penalties.

The Mirror believes that Tottenham attempted to land Atsu last summer when Villas-Boas first arrived but Porto were demanding in the region of £12million.

With the Ghana international running down his contract, it is likely that Tottenham could make a much lower offer as Villas-Boas looks to build a squad capable of regularly challenging for a place in the Champions League.