Tottenham Emerge as Favourites to Sign Lewis Holtby from Schalke

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterJanuary 3, 2013

Schalke's Lewis Holtby is a target for Tottenham and a host of other Premier League clubs.
Schalke's Lewis Holtby is a target for Tottenham and a host of other Premier League clubs.Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Schalke midfielder Lewis Holtby has emerged as a transfer target for Tottenham this month after being linked with a move to the Premier League for the past few months.

The German international, who has an English father and a German mother, has been the subject of interest across Europe after his impressive displays with the Bundesliga club in the Champions League.

The 22-year-old started in all six of Schalke’s Group B matches as they finished top of the standings, two points clear of second-placed Arsenal.

Holtby has made 53 appearances and scored nine times for Schalke since joining the club in 2009 from Alemannia Aachen. His current deal with the club will end in June this year, leaving him free to sign a pre-contract arrangement with English clubs this month.

The former Germany Under-21 captain is no stranger to choosing sides, though, after having to select either Germany or England for his international appearances.

The prospect of a move to England first emerged ahead of Schalke’s Champions League tie against Arsenal in October.

The speculation around Holtby gathered momentum when he told German newspaper Der Westen that he would be considering Premier League offers during Bundesliga winter break.

Holtby announced last month he would not be staying at Schalke beyond the end of his current deal, alerting a number of Premier League clubs to his availability.

When the news broke, the Mirror had Liverpool leading the chase for the midfielder, but Tottenham entered the race soon after, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Arsenal have also been credited with an interest in Holtby, according to the Mirror. But it is Tottenham who have emerged as favourites now, claims The Independent.

Holtby’s composure and ability on the ball make him a stand-out choice for several English teams, especially a club like Tottenham, who are looking to progress with young players under Villas-Boas.

The midfielder would slot neatly into a team seeking more penetration in attack particularly with Gareth Bale reportedly set to leave.

But while Tottenham and manager Andre Villas-Boas are riding high in the Premier League, Everton are also chasing a top-four finish. Holtby’s father is a Toffees fan and ensured that trait carried over to his son in childhood.

Will family allegiances sway Holtby or will Tottenham emerge victorious in the race to sign the midfielder?

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