Tottenham are set to break their transfer record for the third time this summer with the £30m signing of Anzhi Makhachkala winger Willian, as Gareth Bale edges ever closer to the exit door at White Hart Lane.
Real Madrid are thought to be close to completing a world-record £90m deal for the Welsh flyer, with long-time Andre Villas-Boas left-back target Fabio Coentrao moving to London as part of the package.
Former Southampton youth Bale is currently on the injury list at White Hart Lane and was rumoured to have told international teammates that he would never turn out for the Lilywhites again, having joined up with Wales’ squad for the 0-0 draw against the Republic of Ireland.
Spurs, who are 9/20 to beat Dinamo Tbilisi in their Europa League qualifier in Georgia, have already spent £60m on four players this summer and are determined to improve on last season’s fifth-placed finish and qualify for the Champions League – with or without last year’s 21-goal talisman.
Willian has seen his career stall since moving to Anzhi Makhachkala in January from Shakhtar Donetsk, after scoring four goals in the group stages of the Champions League for the Ukrainian club, including two strikes against Spurs’ London rivals Chelsea.
Villas-Boas failed with a bid for the player last summer and was in talks with Shakhtar again before the Brazilian’s winter move to Anzhi, but after the Russian Premier League side put all their players up for sale following a poor start to the season, Spurs are willing to pay the asking price this time and will have no problem meeting Willian’s reported £60,000 weekly wages.
Willian would join a growing Brazilian contingent in north London, with new £17m signing Paulinho, midfielder Sandro and goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes already at the club.