Manchester United face Spurs battle for Real Madrid star

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Tottenham Hotspur appear set to fight Manchester United to sign Fabio Coentrao, with reports suggesting that the North London outfit want to revisit a potential loan move for the Portuguese international in January.

25-year-old Coentrao joined current employers Real Madrid from Primeira Liga outfit Benfica during the summer of 2011 but has found it somewhat difficult to fully establish himself at the Santiago Bernabeu.

With Brazilian international Marcelo preferred as Real's starting left-back and the club evidently blessed with an impressive array of attacking talent further forward, Coentrao has never quite managed to secure a regular starting berth in La Liga.

Indeed, it appeared as if he was all set to exit the Spanish capital on the final day of the summer transfer window. Premier League champions Manchester United were reportedly close to sealing a last-gasp loan deal for Coentrao, but the move ultimately never materialised after issues with the timing of certain paperwork.

Despite that particular botched attempt, though, United - who have improved dramatically of late under the tutelage of David Moyes with four consecutive wins in all competitions - have continued to be linked with a switch for Coentrao.

However, they would appear to face significant competition from domestic rivals Spurs for the player.

According to the London Evening Standard, Andre Villas-Boas remains keen on his compatriot - who apparently earns approximately £100,000-a-week at Real - and wants the club to swoop for his services on a temporary basis when the transfer window re-opens in the new year. 

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