Spurs battle Barca for Sporting ace - reports

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Tottenham could face competition from Barcelona in the race to secure the services of Sporting Lisbon star Joao Pereira when the January transfer window opens.

Spurs had looked to have a clear run at Pereira after boss Harry Redknapp declared an interest in bringing the Portuguese international to White Hart Lane during the January transfer window, but the Lillywhites now look as though they may have their work cut out to secure his services after Barca boss Pep Guardiola expressed a desire to take him to the Nou Camp, according to TalkSport.

Tottenham scouts are said to have been impressed with the utility player’s ability to perform in both the heart of defence and midfield, with Redknapp keen in particular to bolster his defensive unit ahead of what could be a title challenge in the new year.

Periera is contracted with Sporting until 2013 but should Barcelona enter the fray and spark a bidding war for him, the Spanish giants will be confident of persuading the former Braga man to make the switch to the Nou Camp rather than White Hart Lane.

Spurs have also been linked with a move for Bolton’s Gary Cahill as well as Ajax captain Jan Vertonghen – another reported Barcelona target – as they look to turn their excellent start to the Premier League season into a genuine bid for silverware this season.

However Chelsea appear to be in the driving seat in the race for Cahill's signature, while Tottenham's further attempts to bring in options at the back could both be thwarted by Barcelona, meaning Redknapp may have to look elsewhere.

With William Gallas, Michael Dawson, Younes Kaboul and Ledley King all enduring spells on the sidelines at different stages so far this season, Redknapp will be keen to ensure he has enough cover in defence after the exhausting christmas schedule.

Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League

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