After ruling Gareth Bale out of the opening three matches of the season, Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas admitted that the 24-year-old’s future at Spurs was unclear, although the club wanted to keep him.
“We’ve been very, very clear with everybody regarding the player and our willingness to hold onto him. But obviously in football anything can happen in the end,” he said.
“However, this is a player we cherish a lot and who has helped us progress. Ideally we want to continue with him.
“We are aware that Real Madrid are interested. But it doesn’t mean that we are willing to negotiate about him.”
Lamela would be the more direct replacement for Bale, with the Argentine forward scoring 15 times for Roma in Serie A last season cutting in off the right-flank. The 21-year-old is one of the most exciting young players in Europe, and Spurs might see this summer as their last chance to sign Lamela whatever happens to Bale.
Pjanic is a more creative central midfielder, who could add some guile to the powerhouse Spurs front six, and has been linked with a move to White Hart Lane several times in the past couple of years.
Willian only joined Anzhi in January for a fee of around £30million, but with the Russian club keen to slash their budget he could be sold for a similar fee this summer.
The Brazilian has expressed a desire to move to the Premier League to increase his chances of being selected for next year’s World Cup, and Villas-Boas is known to be an admirer of the playmaker.
image: © Damien Cansse