x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Strikers are set in place for Spurs

Andre Villas-Boas looks to strengthen other areas on the pitch with Tottenham.

Tottenham Hotspur coach Andre Villas-Boas.
Tottenham Hotspur coach Andre Villas-Boas.

Andre Villas-Boas is prepared to go without the signing of another striker to allow Tottenham Hotspur's transfer budget to be invested in other areas of the squad.

The Premier League club completed the £5 million (Dh29m) purchase of Emmanuel Adebayor from Manchester City on Monday and their new manager has been so impressed by Jermain Defoe's contribution in his first weeks at White Hart Lane that he is happy to continue with the England international.

Of greater priority to Villas-Boas are new recruits in central midfield, on the wing and in goal.

Although Porto have consistently demanded the full €40m (Dh183m) buyout fee for Joao Moutinho, the coach retains some hope that his former club can be persuaded to relinquish the Portugal midfielder - his first-choice for the position. As one of the alternatives, an offer has been made to Rennes for Yann M'Vila.

Villas-Boas is a long-term admirer of Willian, a Brazil international who can play on either wing or behind the striker. Currently with Shakhtar Donetsk, the 24 year old is seeking to leave Ukraine. He offers an alternative option to Adam Johnson, who City want £15m for amid interest from Sunderland and others.

Hugo Lloris is the coach's preferred option in goal. Negotiations are continuing with Lyon for the France international with the English club so far failing to meet his €20m asking price.

"Until the transfer window closes, you never know," said Lyon advisor Bernard Lacombe. "If [Luka] Modric goes to Madrid, things may move forward. ."

Tottenham raised over £10m in additional funds this week by selling central defenders Michael Dawson and Sebastian Bassong to Queens Park Rangers and Norwich City respectively. They are also close to taking a loan fee from Stoke City for Tom Huddlestone after the England midfielder requested a move to allow him more playing time as he completes his recovery from long-term injury.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is working on multiple fronts to complete what he regards as the best deals for the club. He is waiting for an answer from Internacional on an improved offer for Leandro Damiao, the Brazil striker.

Levy is also pursuing Fernando Llorente, who is eager to move to the Premier League but struggling to manage his exit from Athletic Bilbao.

The Basque club have made it known that they intend to insist on the full €36m value of Llorente's buyout clause, and force the payment of taxes that will further inflate his fee. With the Spain international seeking €5.5m a year, Llorente's salary demands also look beyond Tottenham.

Whether Levy continues to pursue such elite-level strikers may ultimately determined by Defoe's intentions and options elsewhere in the Premier League.

Though Villas-Boas would like to select between the England international and Adebayor for the striker's role in his 4-2-3-1 formation, Defoe has been agitating for a move elsewhere that would offer him a guaranteed start.

sports@thenational.ae