Tottenham could sign Lewis Holtby in January rather than waiting until the summer, the midfielder's current club Schalke have said.
Germany international Holtby last week agreed a deal to join Spurs on a free in the summer when his contract with the Bundesliga club expires.
However, Schalke managing director Horst Heldt is open to the possibility of completing the deal this month, which would be likely to involve Spurs having to pay a fee for the 22-year-old.
"If Tottenham ask for Holtby in the January window, we will talk to them about it," Heldt is quoted as saying in the Daily Mail. "Nothing has happened yet, but, from our point of view, we are prepared to speak to them.
"It would have to be done quickly, because we would have to find a replacement for him."
Meanwhile at Schalke, Ibrahim Affelay and Christoph Moritz have both left the club's winter training camp in Dubai with injuries.
Affelay, 26, currently on a one-year loan from Barcelona, has not played a Bundesliga match since he tore a thigh muscle in the Netherlands friendly against Germany in November. At the weekend he returned to the Schalke team in the club’s friendly against Al Sadd, but on Monday kicker reported that muscular problems could extend Affelay’s spell on the sidelines for another two months.
A MRI scan on Monday confirmed that Moritz, 22, injured a ligament in his right knee and will be out for four or five weeks. The Germany Under-21 international is on the last six months of his contract and announced he will leave the club at the end of the season. He will join Bundesliga club FSV Mainz next season.