Yohan Cabaye has emerged as shock target for Tottenham Hotspur.
It still looks likely that Croatian international Luka Modric will leave White Hart Lane this summer, with Real Madrid expected to take him for £35million.
Villas-Boas will then look to find a new playmaker ahead of the coming season, and it is believed he has made French star Cabaye his top target.
The 26-year-old enjoyed a fine debut season in England last term, after Newcastle United took him from Lille in what proved to be a bargain £4.5million deal.
Alan Pardew would be hugely reluctant to lose the midfielder, but AVB is prepared to open the bidding at a cool £15million in the hope of forcing a sale.