The £30 million-rated samba star had already completed a medical with the north London outfit ahead of signing a five-year contract with Andre Villas-Boas' side, only for Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to intervene and offer Anzhi £32 million for their prized asset.
However, Spurs remain in pole position to land the 25-year-old playmaker, as they step up their search for a Gareth Bale replacement, with the Wales international on the verge of completing a world-record move to Real Madrid.
Sources close to the player insist Spurs remains Willian's preferred option, though they are aware of Chelsea's interest.
Speaking after his side's 5-0 win over Dinamo Tblisi in the Europa League last night, Villas-Boas was seemingly unaware of Chelsea's attempts to derail Spurs' Willian move.
He said: "I can’t give you any further information. We confirmed our interest in [Willian]. Everything is possible but I’m not aware of the circumstances."
Tottenham are not stopping there, either. Recent reports claim a move for AS Roma's Erik Lamela is close to completion, with a club record £31 million move in the offing.
Should that deal go through, Villas-Boas' summer spending will surpass the £90 million mark, having already splashed the cash on players such as Nacer Chadli, Paulinho and Roberto Soldado.