The German midfielder has already agreed a pre-contract agreement to join the Premier League club when his current deal expires this summer, but Spurs are keen to accelerate the process due to Sandro’s injury problems.
The Brazilian will miss the rest of the season due to knee surgery, leaving manager Andre Villas-Boas short on central midfield options.
The Londoners have offered a fee of £1m to complete the deal early, but the Bundesliga giants’ general manager Horst Heldt stated that the offer was unacceptable:
“Tottenham have made an offer, which was not acceptable, therefore it was rejected.
“The transfer window is still open and Lewis has not become any cheaper.”
It is believed that Schalke would accept around double Spurs’ current offer, but with the player set to arrive for free the club are against paying a large fee.
Holtby is unlikely to attempt to force the move after promising the fans that he is fully committed to his current employers:
“I will give my all for Schalke until the last second. Everything else must be decided by the clubs.”
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