Tottenham manager André Villas-Boas wants to strengthen his midfield by signing Lewis Holtby from Schalke, according to the Metro.

The midfielder signed a pre-contract agreement with Spurs this month and was set to move to the Premier League for free when his contract with the Bundesliga outfit expired in July.

However, his transfer could be accelerated after a season-ending knee injury to Sandro which has forced the Spurs boss into making an early move for the Germany international.

Villas-Boas wants Holtby in time to play against Leeds in the FA Cup fourth-round on Saturday, with the fee for the player understood to be around £1.6 million.

According to sources in Germany the deal is expected to be complete within the next 48 hours.

Holtby can play all the way along the midfield line, providing Villas-Boas with depth in all departments of his engine room.

Tottenham have also been linked with a move for Celtic striker Gary Hooper, who is also wanted by Norwich, Newcastle and Sunderland, but it will cost £10 million to take him from Parkhead.

Hooper has rejected a new contract with the Glasgow giants, which has prompted speculation that he could be about to move to the Premier League.

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This article was first posted on January 23, 2013