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Sports Personality of the Year – who will win on Sunday?

After the greatest ever year of sport for Britain, 12 of our stars line up for Sports Personality of the Year… but who will win

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UPDATED:

13:55 GMT, 14 December 2012

With the BBC Sports Personality of the Year winner announced on Sunday, it's time to relive the drama and triumph that saw 2012 become the greatest year for sport in British history.

With the Ryder Cup, historic Tour de France and Grand Slam victories, a Champions League title and, of course, the London Olympics, there is an incomparable glut of success to choose from that made this year special, and the awards ceremony will pay homage to those who made it so unique.

Here's a reminder of who's in the running and why they could go home with the final big prize of the year.

The contenders… and what they won in 2012

Nicola Adams – Olympic gold winner and placed second at the World Championships

Ben Ainslie – Took gold in the Olympics, World Cup and World Championships. Also named ISAF World Sailor of the Year

Jessica Ennis – Silver at the World Indoor Championships, gold in the Olympic heptathlon

Mo Farah – Double Olympic gold medal winner

Katherine Grainger – gold medal in the Olympic double sculls, as well as winning all three World Cups

Sir Chris Hoy – Gold in the World Cup, World Championships and the London Games

Rory McIlroy – Both money list titles, Honda Classic, PGA Championship, Deutsche Bank Championship, DP World Tour Championship, Ryder Cup

Andy Murray – Finally bagged his first Slam, the US Open, as well as Olympic gold and a silver in the doubles.

Ellie Simmonds – Double Paralympic gold, as well as a silver and a bronze

Sarah Storey – quadruple gold at the 2012 Paralympics and a double gold at the UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships

David Weir – Four Paralympic gold medals and a gold in the European Athletics Championships

Bradley Wiggins – Tour de France champion and Olympic road race winner

*BBC Sports Personality of the Year will be shown live on BBC1 on Sunday from 7.30pm

WHO DO YOU THINK SHOULD WIN… AND WHY LEAVE YOUR COMMENT BELOW

'Has it sunk in Not really. When
everything settles down I will be like “Wow, I've really done it.” But
for now I just hope I've made everyone in the country proud.'

Current Odds: 200/1

Nicola Adams – Boxing

This young woman will go down in history as the first Olympic gold-medal winning female boxer.

It’s hard to gauge how much of a landmark the inclusion of women in boxing for the London 2012 Games will be. Only time will tell. But it will certainly be a competition worth remembering for Adams.

And the fact that it was a revenge mission will have made victory all the sweeter for the flyweight. She had been defeated by Ren Cancan of China twice in world championship finals before exacting revenge in a 16-7 victory at the ExCel Centre.

Adams discusses the future with Laura Williamson

'To leave at the top in the home Olympics will never be improved on.'

Current Odds: 150/1

Ben Ainslie – Sailing

He was awarded the honour of carrying the flag for Team GB at the Olympic closing ceremony after becoming the most decorated Olympic sailor of all time.

When his rivals upset him this summer, combining efforts to put a dent in the Brit’s progress, Ainslie turned his anger into inspiration and went on to claim his fourth Olympic gold medal.

Having won silver in his first Olympics, aged 19, this took his tally to five medals in five different Games.

Ainslie talks to Chris Hall about his fourth Olympic gold

Ben Ainslie flies the British flag after his gold medal win at the London Olympic Games

The sailor captured his fourth gold medal, and his fifth Olympic medal overall, at this years Summer Games

‘I’m just wanting to make the most of this moment, just enjoy it. It’s been a long time coming and a lot of hard work put in.'

Current Odds: 7/1

Jessica Ennis – Athletics

What more can be said about the golden girl of athletics

Ennis has well and truly become a national treasure this year, after sprinting to a gold medal in the heptathlon while the world watched with bated breath.

Having been forced to withdraw from the Beijing Olympics before being elevated to the face of the 2012 Games, the pressure could not have been higher.

And yet Ennis managed to exceed all expectations, setting a British record in the 100m hurdles with a time that would have seen her take gold in the individual event four years ago, and a personal best in the javelin.

She didn’t need to win the final event, the 800m, but she did so anyway, in joyful fashion.

Ennis talks gold medals and wedding dresses with Laura Williamson

'I could never have imagined it would be
like that. As an athlete you dream of becoming an Olympic champion, but
not in front of a home crowd, and also twice doing it.'

Current Odds: 5/1

Mo Farah – Athletics

It’s been an emotional year for Farah. First two Olympic gold medals, then two baby girls.

Not to mention his fearless performance as he became the first winner on The Cube, raising 250,000 for charity in the process.

Farah joined the very shortlist of men to have won both the 5,000m and the 10,000m at the Olympic Games, and in doing so became arguably the best runner Britain has ever seen.

His moment of glory was named the most inspiring moment of the Games by a public poll.

Farah wins greatest TV moment of the year

Mo Farah reacts to his 5,000m win at the London 2012 Olympics

Mo Farah had two doubles this year – A set of twin girls to match his double Olympic gold

'When you want gold, winning silver is a failure. It might sound ungrateful, but that’s the truth of it.'

Current Odds: 200/1

Katherine Grainger – Rowing

Here is another star who delivered a fairytale ending at the Games.

After having taken silver at the last three Olympic Games, it looked as though the rower was destined to look back on her career never having been able to reach the golden peak.

But all that changed when she teamed up with Anna Watkins in 2010. Since linking up, the duo have bagged two World Championship titles.

They powered past every opponent they came up against in the run up to the Games, and pushed themselves clear of the competition when it came to the final, confirming Grainger as the most successful female British rower of all time.

And let’s not forget, she did all this at the age of 36, when most athletes have long since retired.

Grainger talks to Sportsmail about her gold medal and PhD

Katherine Grainger celebrates her Olympic gold medal in the double sculls

Grainger finally made it gold in 2012 after having settled for second place three times

'I can't put into words what it means to me. It's one of the greatest feelings I have ever had.'

Current Odds: 100/1

Sir Chris Hoy – Cycling

Another British best, Chris Hoy became the most successful British Olympian ever after overtaking Sir Steve Redgrave this year with seven Olympic medals, six of them gold.

He knows what it means to take the Sports Personality award home, having won it for his heroics in the 2008 Olympics.

Like Grainger, he achieved his latest feat at the ripe old age of 36. His position in the Team GB squad has not just been to win medals, but also as a figure of inspiration to those coming into their prime, such as Jason Kenny.

In a team that dominated the Velodrome this year, Hoy was the shining star leading the charge.

Chris Hoy talks about launching his own range of cycles

‘This has been one of the most perfect
days on a golf course if you’re a European. We went out in strength
today trying to lead from the front…it’s an unbelievable feeling.' – After the Ryder Cup

Current Odds: 100/1

Rory McIlroy – Golf

McIlroy had momentum behind him this year, and managed to finish in the top 10 of tournaments 15 times.

After having rounded off a knife-edge victory in the Ryder Cup with the rest of an awe-inspiring European team, he was recently awarded the 2012 Golf Writers' Trophy.

He’s also taken the money titles on both sides of the Atlantic, and been named the PGA Tour Player of the Year.

Sports Personality would just be one more accolade to heap on the Northern Irishman, after what has been the finest year of his career.

He won the PGA Championship by eight shots, and became the youngest multiple major champion since Seve Ballesteros.

McIlroy is named PGA Tour Player of the Year

Rory McIlroy celebrates winning the Ryder Cup in 2012

Rory McIlroy topped the money lists in what was most successful year of his career

'It means the world to me. It’s what I’ve
been working towards the last ten years of my life, I always wanted to
try and win a Grand Slam.’

Current Odds: 12/1

Andy Murray – Tennis

The wait for Andy Murray to achieve his dream of a Grand Slam title has been filled with disappointment, bitterness and heartbreak – and that’s just for the fans!

The Scot reached the peak of his career in the latter part of 2012. He suffered a devastating defeat at the hands of Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final, but steeled himself and powered through the Olympics only weeks later, determined to take at least one title at the All England Club.

After duly sweeping to a straight sets victory, there was no stopping the 25-year-old, and he went the distance against Novak Djokovic in the US Open final.

After an epic dual, Murray was crowned the first male British Grand Slam winner for 76 years.

Mike Dickson trains with Andy Murray

‘I just put my head down and went for it,
and gave it everything. Everyone was wishing me luck which was so nice.
I did it for myself, I did it for my family.’

Current Odds: 50/1

Ellie Simmonds – Swimming

Simmonds went on a record-breaking run at this summer’s Games, setting new world records in the 200m individual medley and the 400m S6 freestyle, the same race she won in Beijing at the tender age of 13.

She’s already tasted Sports Personality success, having taken home the Young Sports Personality of the Year in 2008, and she’s back in the running for the adult version having taken home another double gold.

She also bagged herself a silver medal in the 100m S6 freestyle, having already set a Paralympic record in the qualifying rounds, and a bronze in the 50m freestyle.

Ellie Simmonds looks back on her golden summer

‘Everything the Paralympics has been
over the last 20 years that I've been involved has now been shared with
everybody. People realise now what we've all been so enthralled with.'

Current Odds: 200/1

Sarah Storey – Cycling

It’s hard to grasp just what Sarah Storey has achieved as far as the Paralympics go.

She now has an incredible haul of 22 medals to her name, after winning gold four times over in 2012, and by significant distances too.

The 35-year-old has competed as both a swimmer and a cyclist, and her most recent triumph came in the C4-5 road race, which was her 11th gold medal overall.

No other Paralympian can match her success in the modern era.

Her Paralympic career has spanned 20 years, and there is no sign of her slowing down anytime soon.

Sarah Story set to add to her family after 'golden' year

‘Obviously I dreamt about winning all my races but it was going to be a tough order. I just really had to dig deep’

Current Odds: 33/1

David Weir – Athletics

The ‘Weirwolf’ dominated his events in the Paralympic Games, winning gold in all four of his T45 category races, from the 800m to the marathon.

His tally of Paralympic medals now stands at 10, and he left commentators hoarse with the drama of his sprint finish in the marathon.

The racer was so intently focused on the race that he couldn’t even tell where the finish line was, and simply kept pushing.

He also won his sixth London Marathon in 2012, equalling Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson.

David Weir chats to Laura Williamson

‘I said at the start of the year I
couldn’t prioritise one or the other, I wanted both. I was greedy, I
don’t mind admitting that. I felt I could do both.’

Current Odds: 1/3

Bradley Wiggins – Cycling

It’s hard to believe that cycling in Britain will ever be looked at the same way after what Bradley Wiggins achieved in 2012.

The first British man to win the Tour de France, he had claimed the yellow jersey early in the race.

He then cruised to his fourth Olympic gold in the time trial, which was also his seventh Olympic medal overall.

On top of that, 2012 has seen him become the only rider in history to win Paris-Nice, the Tour of Romandy and Criterium du Dauphine in one season.

He was recently awarded the Sports Journalists Association's sportsman of the year.

Bradley Wiggins says he wants to defend Tour de France title

Bradley Wiggins sits atop his throne after winning gold at the 2012 Olympics

Wiggins claimed the yellow jersey in the Tour de France before winning gold in the Olympics

WHO DO YOU THINK SHOULD WIN… AND WHY LEAVE YOUR COMMENT BELOW

Phil Mickelson charges into contention with course record to share lead with Vijay Singh at Crooked Stick

Mickelson charges into contention with course record to share lead with Singh at Crooked Stick

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UPDATED:

00:32 GMT, 9 September 2012

Phil Mickelson equalled the course record with a stunning eight-under-par 64 on Saturday to surge into a share of the lead alongside Vijay Singh in the PGA Tour BMW Championship at Crooked Stick in Carmel, Indiana.

The four-time major winner had 10 birdies, offset only by bogeys at the third and 14th holes, and will head into Sunday's final round tied with Fijian Singh on 16 under par.

Midway leader Singh carded a third-round 69, which would have looked much healthier had he not bogeyed three of his last five holes.

The pair were a shot clear of England's Lee Westwood and Northern Ireland's world number one Rory McIlroy after 54 holes.

In a happy place: Mickelson

In a happy place: Mickelson

Westwood posted a four-under 68 on Saturday, spurred by three birdies in his closing four holes, with PGA champion McIlroy signing for a 69.

Tiger Woods, who was level with McIlroy a stroke behind Singh heading into the third round, slipped off the pace with a 71.

The 14-time major winner, who had four bogeys on his front nine, will start Sunday on 13 under and in eighth place – a shot behind fellow Americans Robert Garrigus (66), Dustin Johnson (67) and Australia's Adam Scott (66).

Speaking after his sparkling round, Mickelson expressed his delight at the form he has shown over the past two weeks.

'Certainly my game went south for a while, and I was trying to piece it back together,' said the American left-hander, who finished joint fourth at the Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton on Monday.

Poster boy: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walks across the practice green in front of a giant billboard

Poster boy: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walks across the practice green in front of a giant billboard

'I
started with some iron play and it progressed to getting my driver back
to where I was hitting the ball straight and getting my speed back, and
now the putter is back.

'It's
taken me a little while to piece it back together, but I could tell
last week that my game was back and I was ready to play at the highest
level again.

'I knew heading
into this week I was going to have a good week. I came out very anxious
on Thursday and forced it a little too much the front nine and didn't
play a good nine holes.

'But
after that I've been able to settle down and play some good golf. I'm
looking forward to tomorrow's shootout. It should be fun.'

Colourful: Lee Westwood (L) and Tiger Woods

Colourful: Lee Westwood (L) and Tiger Woods

McIlroy admitted he had not been at his best but was content with his position heading into Sunday.

'It
wasn't the greatest ball-striking round out there that I've ever had,
but I somehow managed to scrape it around in 69 and still in with a
chance,' the 23-year-old said.

'As badly as I did hit it out there, I'm still happy with my position going into tomorrow.'

Rory McIlroy wins Deutsche Bank Championship

McIlroy pips Oosthuizen to Deutsche Bank Championship with final round of 67

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UPDATED:

22:47 GMT, 3 September 2012

Rory McIlroy put himself in pole position to take a 10 million dollar morale boost into the Ryder Cup with a sensational win in the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston on Monday night.

The victory took the world No 1 to the top of the FedEx Cup rankings with just two tournaments to go and the mind boggling first prize within his reach when it is settled at the Tour Championship in Atlanta the weekend before Europe and the US do battle at Kiawah Island.

Champion: McIlroy lifts the trophy after shaking hands with Oosthuizen

Champion: McIlroy lifts the trophy after shaking hands with Oosthuizen

Champion: McIlroy lifts the trophy after shaking hands with Oosthuizen

Not that he needs the money too badly – Monday night’s victory was his second 1m payday in a matter of weeks after winning the USPGA Championship.

But his performance underlined the
sensational form the 23-year-old from Holywood has found in the second
half of his first full season on the US Tour.

Top form: McIlroy shot a 67 in the final round to win by one shot

Top form: McIlroy shot a 67 in the final round to win by one shot

Starting the day three shots behind former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, he launched his charge with three birdies in the first four holes.

And after building a two shot lead by half way he clung on to finish 20 under par for the tournament, a shot ahead of the South African.

And even when he wobbled slightly on the 17th hole, chipping from the rough behind a bunker on one side of the green straight into the long grass on the other, he was let off when Oosthuizen missed a ten foot putt to also bogey the hole.

Edged out: Oosthuizen (below left) had started the day three shots clear

Edged out: Oosthuizen (below left) had started the day three shots clear

Edged out: Oosthuizen (below left) had started the day three shots clear

The South African then put his second shot at the 18th into deep rough, and although he produced a brilliant chip to get out of trouble he just missed the putt which would have taken the match to a play off.

The victory was all the more crucial as a morale boost because it means McIlroy will keep the upper hand of any Ryder Cup duel with Tiger Woods, who gave more evidence of his return to top form with a final day 66 to finish in third place on 18 under.

Morale boost: McIlroy finished two shots clear of Ryder Cup rival Woods

Morale boost: McIlroy finished two shots clear of Ryder Cup rival Woods

Deutsche Bank Championship 2012: Louis Oosthuizen has three-stroke lead

Oosthuizen takes three-shot lead into final round of Deutsche Bank Championship as McIlroy and Woods remain in the hunt

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UPDATED:

22:49 GMT, 2 September 2012

Former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen will take a three-shot lead into Monday's final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship after a brilliant 63 at TPC Boston.

Oosthuizen began the day one shot behind playing partner Rory McIlroy and watched as the world No 1 birdied the first two holes.

In good stead: Louis Oosthuizen (left) has a three-shot lead over Rory McIlroy (right)

In good stead: Louis Oosthuizen (left) has a three-shot lead over Rory McIlroy (right)

However, the South African also picked up a shot on the par-five second and then fired seven birdies in succession from the fourth.

That meant a tournament-record 29 on the front nine and although his birdie on the 10th was followed by six pars and a bogey, a closing birdie on the par-five 18th saw the 29-year-old finish 19 under par.

'Louis put on a display right there,' McIlroy said. 'I was delighted when I got the honour back on the 12th tee.'

Unstoppable Oosthuizen fired an impressive 63

Unstoppable Oosthuizen fired an impressive 63

Easy Tiger! Tiger Woods is in third place alongside Dustin Johnson

Easy Tiger! Tiger Woods is in third place alongside Dustin Johnson

McIlroy returned a 67 to finish three behind on 16 under, adding: 'I've come from farther behind before.

'It's going to be an interesting day tomorrow.'

Dustin Johnson continued his quest for a Ryder Cup wild card with a 65 to move into third place on 13 under alongside Tiger Woods, who carded a 68.

Rory McIlroy leads Deutsche Bank Championship by one shot

McIlroy leads the Deutsche Bank Championship by one shot at the halfway stage

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UPDATED:

23:03 GMT, 1 September 2012

Rory McIlroy claimed a one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Deutsche Bank Championship thanks to a second consecutive 65 at TPC Boston.

Starting from the 10th, the USPGA champion birdied three of his first six holes before an eagle at the 18th completed a back nine featuring six threes.

Another followed for a birdie at the first and although he dropped shots at the next two holes, successive birdies at the fourth and fifth saw the 23-year-old from Northern Ireland finish 12 under par.

Out in front: Rory McIlroy leads

Out in front: Rory McIlroy leads

'Now that I'm in the tournament, I just want to play as well as I can and maybe reassess things going into the last day,' world number one McIlroy said.

'But I was very happy with the two scores that I've got already and know that I need to go out and play just as good tomorrow to give myself a chance going into Monday.

'I got off to a nice start and sort of just kept the momentum going. Everything seemed to work pretty well out there.

Close behind: Louis Oosthuizen is just behind McIlroy

Close behind: Louis Oosthuizen is just behind McIlroy

'I felt like I drove the ball a bit better today and hit more fairways, which gave me some more opportunities to make birdies, and I was putting well enough to take a few of those.'

Former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen was McIlroy's closest challenger on 11 under after also carding a 65, while American duo Ryan Moore and Tiger Woods were another shot back after rounds of 68.

Famous fan: McIlroy on the back of a golf cart with girlfriend and tennis player Caroline Wozniacki

Famous fan: McIlroy on the back of a golf cart with girlfriend and tennis player Caroline Wozniacki

'I didn't make anything today,' said Woods, who missed all four of his putts between seven and 10 feet and three-putted the par-three 11th.

Overnight leader Noh Seung-Yul could not build on his opening 62 as he carded a level-par 71 to remain at nine under alongside Jason Dufner (66), Chris Kirk (70), DA Points (65) and former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel (65).

Schwartzel tore a muscle in his abdomen the week of the US Open and after finishing 38th at Olympic Club, took the next three weeks off to let the injury heel.

He returned to competition at The Open at Lytham and this week's event is his seventh in succession.

'I had the injury at the US Open and it set me back quite a bit,' Schwartzel said.

'I came back, lost a bit of confidence, and am just seeing if I can play myself back into it.

'There's been great signs of it sort of from Wyndham, just finishing poorly on Sunday. Same thing at Bethpage, I was up there, finished poorly on Sunday.

'It's there. Once again, I can feel the game is great, so just a matter of finishing it off.'

Deutsche Bank Championship leaderboard: Live leaderboard

Deutsche Bank Championship leaderboard: Keep up to date with the latest scores

The FedEx Cup play-offs continue this week with the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston.

Webb Simpson took the title last year and you can keep track of all the latest scores right here.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LIVE LEADERBOARD

Defending champ: Webb Simpson won last year's Deutsche Bank Championship

Defending champ: Webb Simpson won last year's Deutsche Bank Championship

Tiger Woods shoots best opening round for three years but still two off the lead

Woods shoots best opening round for three years but still two off the lead

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UPDATED:

00:07 GMT, 1 September 2012

Tiger Woods rolled back the years with
a 64 in the first round of the Deutsche Bank Championship – but still
found himself two shots off the lead.

Woods recorded his best opening round
in three years to initially share the clubhouse lead with former Ryder
Cup player Jeff Overton and Ryan Moore.

On a rol: Tiger Woods hits the ball on the 13th hole

On a rol: Tiger Woods hits the ball on the 13th hole

But fellow American Chris Kirk then moved top of the leaderboard with a 63 before South Korea's Noh Seung-yul birdied his last two holes to card a nine-under-par 62.

Woods, who started on the 10th, picked up shots at the 11th and 13th and then carded six more birdies in succession from the 18th.

The former world No 1 dropped his only shot of the day on his closing hole, the ninth, but said: 'I hit a lot of good shots and on top of that I putted well at the same time. It was a nice little combination.'

Woods added on PGA Tour Radio: 'I hit the ball well enough to probably shoot maybe one or two more (under par). I missed a couple of little putts out there.

'But also I made my share from outside of 15, 20 feet as well.'

Last weekend at The Barclays, Woods three-putted four greens in the third round and then shot 76 in the final round to finish tied for 38th. He dropped from first to third in FedExCup points.

'It wasn't like I was hitting a lot of awful shots,' he added. 'I just needed a couple of putts to kind of go my way and it didn't happen.

'Today was about the same as I have been playing pretty much all summer, just go out there and playing pretty consistent. It was just a nice, solid round.'

World No 1 Rory McIlroy was just one shot behind Woods after a 65, while Ryder Cup team-mates Luke Donald and Ian Poulter shot 67 and Lee Westwood returned a 68.

'I definitely didn't drive the ball the way I wanted to,' McIlroy said after only hitting four fairways.

'I drove it great last week at Bethpage and didn't putt so well but this week it seems like I didn't drive it so good today but putted well.'

Rafael van der Vaart wanted by Hamburg while Spurs suffer setback in Willian chase

Hamburg vow to re-sign Van der Vaart while Spurs suffer setback in Willian chase

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UPDATED:

15:15 GMT, 29 August 2012

Hamburg have vowed to do everything possible to re-sign Rafael van der Vaart from Tottenham before the transfer window closes.

Van der Vaart has been strongly linked with a return to his former club but the Bundesliga side's chairman, Carl-Edgar Jarchow, has admitted time is running out to convince Spurs to sell.

'There is not a lot of time – it is really up to Tottenham Hotspur,' he told Deutsche Presse-Agentur. 'If we have a chance to sign him, we will do everything we can to make that happen.'

Old pals: Rafael van der Vaart (left) is wanted back at former club Hamburg

Old pals: Rafael van der Vaart (left) is wanted back at former club Hamburg

That opportunity could present itself if Tottenham complete the signing of some of their own targets during what looks set to be another frantic final 48 hours of a summer transfer window at White Hart Lane.

Moussa Dembele is on the brink of sealing a move from Fulham after Spurs triggered a 15million release clause.

New manager Andre Villas-Boas has also renewed the interest he showed while Chelsea boss in Shakhtar Donetsk forward Willian, who could fill the void left by the departure of Luka Modric.

Shakhtar chief executive Sergei Palkin has claimed he had rejected a bid of just under 12million for the Brazilian and that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy had also made an inquiry about two other players.

No go: Shakhtar Donetsk have turned down Spurs' latest bid for Willian (top)

No go: Shakhtar Donetsk have turned down Spurs' latest bid for Willian (top)

'Mr Levy, the chairman of Tottenham Hotspur FC, personally flew to Donetsk to negotiate over Willian,' Palkin told his club's official website. 'But his latest offer was 15 million euros, which we, of course, did not accept.

'Levy, by the way, hinted that besides Willian, Villas-Boas was interested in Douglas Costa and Fernandinho, but he mentioned that just casually, without any specifics.'

Spurs have been heavily linked for some time with France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and there are reports they could be on the brink of agreeing a deal with Lyon in the region of 13m.

Van der Vaart is said to be valued at around 14million by Daniel Levy, almost more than double the Tottenham chairman paid Real Madrid for the 29-year-old two years ago.

The Holland star joined Real from Hamburg, where he became a cult hero during his three-year spell at the club, while his wife, Sylvie, still works in Germany.

Spurs have also been linked with Internacional striker Leandro Damiao and Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila but the chances of them moving to White Hart Lane appear to have receded.

Time is also running out for Villas-Boas to offload players, with doubt having reportedly been cast on the futures of several names including Michael Dawson, Jermaine Jenas, Aaron Lennon, David Bentley, Heurelho Gomes, Giovani dos Santos and Jermain Defoe.

Tom Huddlestone appeared to have completed a loan move to Stoke, although that has been complicated by a medical that prompted concern over the player's long-standing ankle problems.

Mousa Dembele signs for Tottenham from Fulham

Spurs land Dembele as Villas-Boas kicks off late spending spree with 15m swoop on Fulham

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UPDATED:

16:25 GMT, 29 August 2012

Tottenham have completed the signing of Fulham playmaker Mousa Dembele.

Spurs met the Belgium midfielder's 15million release clause on Tuesday, pipping a host of other interested parties, including Real Madrid and Manchester United.

The new signing, who scored seven times in 74 appearances, comes 48 hours after the
sale of Luka Modric to Real Madrid and follows pressure mounting on
chairman Daniel Levy to bring in new faces.

Heading to the Lane: Mousa Dembele is set to join Spurs

Heading to the Lane: Mousa Dembele is set to join Spurs

A statement on the Tottenham website said: 'We are delighted to announce that we have reached agreement with Fulham for the transfer of Mousa Dembele.

'The Belgium international has won many admirers with his performances in the Premier League since arriving at Craven Cottage in August 2010 from AZ Alkmaar, with who he won the Eredivisie league title in 2009.

'Dembele originally joined Fulham as a forward, although his ability to drive forward with the ball and his eye for a pass saw him played in an attacking midfield role last season, a move that proved a huge success.'

The move casts further doubt on the future of Rafael van der Vaart. The Dutchman has been strongly linked with a return to his former club Hamburg but the Bundesliga side's chairman, Carl-Edgar Jarchow, has admitted time is running out to convince Spurs to sell.

'There is not a lot of time – it is really up to Tottenham Hotspur,' he told Deutsche Presse-Agentur. 'If we have a chance to sign him, we will do everything we can to make that happen.'

next: Andre Villas-Boas looks set for a busy 48 hours before the window shuts

next: Andre Villas-Boas looks set for a busy 48 hours before the window shuts

Return: Rafael van der Vaart's future at Tottenham is in doubt

Return: Rafael van der Vaart's future at Tottenham is in doubt

That opportunity could present itself now Tottenham have successfully begun to sign some of their own targets during what looks set to be another frantic final 48 hours of a summer transfer window at White Hart Lane.

As well as bringing in Dembele, new manager Andre Villas-Boas has also renewed the interest he showed while Chelsea boss in Shakhtar Donetsk forward Willian, who could fill the void left by the departure of Luka Modric.

Shakhtar chief executive Sergei Palkin claimed he had rejected a bid of just under 12m for the Brazilian and that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy had also made an enquiry about two other players.

'Mr Levy, the chairman of Tottenham Hotspur FC, personally flew to Donetsk to negotiate over Willian,' Palkin told his club's official website. 'But his latest offer was 15 million euros, which we of course did not accept.

'Levy, by the way, hinted that besides Willian, Villas-Boas was interested in Douglas Costa and Fernandinho, but he mentioned that just casually, without any specifics.'

Time is also running out for Villas-Boas to offload players, with doubt having reportedly been cast on the futures of several players, including Michael Dawson, Jermaine Jenas, Aaron Lennon, David Bentley, Heurelho Gomes, Giovani dos Santos and Jermain Defoe.

Tom Huddlestone appeared to have completed a loan move to Stoke, although that has been complicated by a medical that prompted concern over the player's long-standing ankle problems.