Spurs may have been rebuffed at the end of last week when attempting to secure Lewis Holtby’s early signature but reports suggest that the club have gone back in with an improved bid.

Schalke’s Horst Held had declared the previous offer to be unacceptable while the player himself rather angrily claimed that he was concentrating on doing his best for his German club.

At the same time, Spurs head coach Andre Villas-Boas suggested that an early arrival was very difficult.

“The only thing we’ve done at the moment is hold onto our midfielders. At the moment, it’s very, very difficult but let’s see,” AVB said.

The improved bid is said to be in the region of £850,000 for a player whose contract runs out in June but will that be enough to prise Holtby away? The player scored once and provided two assists for Schalke in their 5-4 over Hannover last Friday and on the evidence of that performance, the German club will probably want to hold on to their player for as long as they can.

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