sport

AVB plays down Damiao link

Andre Villas-Boas has played down reports linking him with a bid for Leandro Damiao and insists it is "unlikely" the striker will join Spurs.

Adebayor's decision to go to the African Nations Cup has led to renewed speculation that Spurs have reignited their long-term interest in the 23-year-old Internacional player.

Damiao has continuously stressed he would be interested in a move to Europe, although his club are said to be holding out for a fee in excess of 20million.

Adebayor's absence leaves Villas-Boas with just one recognised striker in Jermain Defoe, but the Tottenham manager said that does not mean Damiao is on his way to White Hart Lane.

"Leandro is a player we've always appreciated, that this club appreciated before I arrived, but it's extremely difficult that he's going to join Tottenham," the Portuguese manager told a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

"He's a player that is highly rated in the market, and it's unlikely that he will play for Tottenham."

Damiao has been a leading star for Internacional since he signed for the club in 2009 and last summer he was top scorer for the Brazil side in the London Olympics.