Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt a blow in their alleged pursuit of Adrien Silva, after it emerged that Sporting Lisbon will not let the midfielder leave Portugal in January, reports Sky Sports.
The 24-year-old has been the subject of recent speculation, with suggestions that he could be on his way to north London when the transfer window reopens at the turn of the year.
Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas has been credited with an interest in bringing Silva to White Hart Lane, despite his surplus of central midfielders already fighting for a first-team place.
Silva has been in inspirational form for the Primeira Liga giants this season, with his fine performances at Estádio José Alvalade attracting attention from a growing list of admirers - not just Tottenham.
However, according to a source close to Sporting, the former Portugal U21 international will not be available for transfer in January, though that stance might change at the end of the season.
"We could not break the squad in a season with serious chances to win the title," said the source. "It is possible for next summer, but any value of a player would have to be met."