x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Tottenham Hotspur push forward with move for Leandro Damiao

Chairman ready to commit to move even without the sale of Luka Modric to Real Madrid having gone through.

Brazil's Leandro Damiao celebrates scoring against South Korea during the Olympic men's semi-final at Old Trafford
Brazil's Leandro Damiao celebrates scoring against South Korea during the Olympic men's semi-final at Old Trafford

Tottenham Hotspur are increasingly confident of agreeing a deal to bring Brazil centre forward Leandro Damiao to White Hart Lane before the start of the Premier League season.

Internacional have been looking for a fee of between €20 and €25million (Dh91m and 114m) for the aerially adept striker, who has established himself as a regular for his national team in the past year.

While Daniel Levy has been reluctant to commit such a significant sum to any one transfer before completing Luka Modric's sale to Real Madrid, a severe shortage of attacking personnel has forced Tottenham's chairman to sanction advanced negotiations for the Brazilian.

Andre Villas-Boas, who has been frustrated by preparing his first season at the club with just one experienced striker, is pushing for a rapid resolution.

The new coach's agent, Carlos Goncalves, is understood to have flown to Brazil to work on the transfer of a player Tottenham first attempted to purchase last year only to baulk at the demands of Inter and Damiao's agents.

Villas-Boas has also accepted that his first choice for the position, Robert Lewandowski, is unattainable with Borussia Dortmund asking €30m for the free scoring Poland international.

Leandro Damiao, who has been leading Brazil's attack during the Olympics, is seen as a viable alternative to Lewandowski. The 23-year-old is of a similar build, technically able, and capable of operating as a solo striker in a team that values possession.

Though negotiations for Leandro Damiao have been accelerated by Tottenham's difficulties completing Emmanuel Adebayor's transfer from Manchester City, they do not spell an end to the London club's interest in the African.

A fee of £5m was agreed with City last month, but Adebayor is not content with the shortfall in his Tottenham salary being subsidised by his current employers for only the first two years of the proposed contract.

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