Tottenham Hotspur have brought forward the transfer of Schalke midfielder Lewis Holtby, according to the BBC.

The German international was set to sign in July after signing a pre-contract agreement at White Hart Lane, but a number of issues have led to the deal being accelerated.

Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas could have landed the player as a free agent with his contact with the Bundesliga side set to expire in the summer, however he has agreed to pay £1.5 million to buy him out of the remainder of his contract.

It is believed that the season-ending injury to midfielder Sandro factored into the decision to bring the transfer forward.

On joining Tottenham, 22-year old Holtby said:

“Tottenham are a top club and I’m fulfilling my dream.

“I have spoken to [Spurs manager] Andre Villas-Boas and I am confident in his plans.”

Spurs confirmed the signing via their official website saying:

“We’re delighted to announce we have reached an agreement for the immediate transfer of Lewis Holtby.”

Holtby has been with Schalke since 2009 after moving from second-tier side Alemannia Aachen, making 75 appearances and scoring 11 times in the process.

He was eligible to play for both England or Germany because he has a German mother and an English father, and opted to represent Germany, the country where he was born.

Holtby has 3 senior caps for Germany, but once said that as a child, he dreamed of playing for England, but once he had been selected for the Germany under-21 side, a sense of loyalty compelled him to progress through the ranks to the senior team.

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This article was first posted on January 29, 2013