TOTTENHAM have moved to mitigate the long-term injury suffered by Sandro by finally persuading Schalke to let Germany midfielder Lewis Holtby join them this week.
A bid believed to be around £1.25m proved enough to tempt the Bundesliga club into releasing Holtby, who was out of contract in the summer and due to join Spurs on a free transfer.
The former Germany Under-21 captain, who has an English father, was keen to accelerate the move after deciding not to renew his existing deal.
Holtby is expected to travel to London at the weekend, meaning he will miss tomorrow’s Premier League match at Norwich and, in all probability, the fixture at West Brom on Sunday.
The 22-year-old is set to bolster Andre Villas-Boas’s midfield options, which have been depleted by a knee injury to Brazilian Sandro, who has undergone surgery and is thought likely to miss the rest of the season.
Sandro suffered his injury just 25 minutes into Tottenham’s match at Queens Park Rangers on 12 January. Having won nine of their previous 11 games, they drew 0-0 at Loftus Road and have since drawn with Manchester United and suffered a shock FA Cup defeat at Leeds.
Spurs are also short on forward options, with Emmanuel Adebayor representing Togo at the Africa Cup of Nations and Jermain Defoe battling a persistent pelvic injury, though Villas-Boas has played down talk of signing a striker before Thursday’s transfer deadline.
Holtby is the north Londonders’ second signing of the January window, after the £3m capture of former Manchester United defender Zeki Fryers from Standard Liege.