• Premier League

Levy leads Spurs' pursuit of Willian

Harry Harris, ESPNFC
August 28, 2012

ESPN understands that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has led a delegation to the Ukraine in a bid to sign Shakhtar Donetsk attacking midfielder Willian.

Spurs initially had an £11.5 million bid rejected for the Brazilian but are back with an improved offer for a player that manager Andre Villa-Boas sees as the ideal replacement for Real Madrid bound Luka Modric.

A Spurs source told ESPN: "Yes, I can confirm that the club's chairman has been in the Ukraine with a view to trying to buy Willian."

Villas-Boas tried to sign the 24-year-old when he arrived at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea manager, although his midfield priority for Spurs has been Joao Moutinho of Porto for whom the Portuguese club refuse to accept less than £25 million.

"He is a player that I was interested in last year - an extremely talented player," Villas-Boas said of Willian last week. "I wouldn't want to go very deep because I feel it would be disrespectful for Shakhtar, which is a club I have a good relationship with, so the only thing I can tell you is that last year when I was at Chelsea I was interested in the player."

Rennes' holding midfielder Yann M'Vila is another midfield target, while Spurs are closing on a £13 million deal for Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris as Levy spends the final frantic days before Friday's deadline trying to spend the initial £27 million that he will receive for Modric.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.