Spurs step up hunt for striker as Villa enters talks

Tottenham Hotspur”s new Technical Director Franco Baldini is scheduled to hold talks with David Villa later this week as the London side look to close out the signing of the Barcelona forward.

Villa is in Brazil as part of Spain”s Confederations Cup squad who are preparing to face Italy this evening but it is reported that he will be allowed to meet with Baldini while on international duty this week.

Spurs faced competition from North London rivals Arsenal in their pursuit of Spain”s all time leading scorer but the signing of Carlos Tevez to Juventus yesterday means the Gunners should wrap up the transfer of Real Madrid”s Gonzalo Higuain in the coming days, ending Arsene Wenger”s interest in Villa.

Villa netted a hattrick for the European and World champions against Tahiti at the Confederations Cup but has endured a frustrating season by his own high standards after returning to the Barca squad following a season long absence due to a broken leg.

The former Valencia forward scored 16 goals last year as the Catalan giants regained their La Liga championship from Madrid but it seems certain that his career at the club is over with the arrival of Brazilian wunderkid Neymar pushing him further down the pecking order.

Andre Villas-Boas has identfied the North Londoners lack of striking options as a major hole in his squad since taking over at White Hart casino Lane and is looking to pursue a number of options including Villa”s international team mate Roberto Solado and Aston Villa”s Christian Benteke.

Spurs are thought to be close to the signing of Brazil”s midfielder Paulinho who has stood out alongside Neymar during the team”s run to the Confederations Cup final and looks set to join the Lilywhites in a ¬£17million deal.

The club”s interest in another Brazilian¬†Leandro Damiao looks to have cooled once and for all after failing to secure the Internacional player”s signature after persistent talks in the last few transfer windows.

Another Barca player subject to the interest of Spurs, alongside Liverpool, is 19 year old wideman Gerard Deulofeu with the Spanish thought to be willing to let the youngster go out on loan for the season to gain some first team experience.

Delofeu bagged two goals in Spain”s opening game win over USA at the Under 20 World Cup earlier this week and impressed last year for Barcelona B, scoring 18 goals in 33 games.

Aaron hails from Dublin, and follows the Premiership religiously. A Tottenham Hotspur supporter.