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Aug, 28, 2012

Levy leads pursuit of Willian

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.

Shakhtar chief executive Sergei Palkin claimed he had rejected a bid of just under £12 million for the Brazilian and that Levy had also made an inquiry about two other players.

"Mr Levy, the chairman of Tottenham Hotspur FC, personally flew to Donetsk to negotiate over Willian,'' Palkin told his club's official website. "But his latest offer was 15 million euros, which we, of course, did not accept.

"Levy, by the way, hinted that besides Willian, Villas-Boas was interested in Douglas Costa and Fernandinho, but he mentioned that just casually, without any specifics.''

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 £27 million cash up front that he will receive for Modric.

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