English Premier League club Tottenham were allowed to sign Rafael van der Vaart from Real Madrid on Wednesday after their last-ditch move for the Dutch playmaker on deadline day.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp moved for van der Vaart just two hours before the transfer window closed late on Tuesday, causing a frantic scramble to file the paperwork in time, and the north London outfit were left to wait overnight to discover if the Premier League would ratify the deal.
Redknapp was finally able to plan a team that includes van der Vaart on Wednesday after the Premier League rubber-stamped the most impressive deadline day coup by an English club.
“We are delighted to announce that we have reached agreement with Real Madrid for the transfer of Rafael van der Vaart,” a statement on Tottenham’s website confirmed.
Real confirmed the deal.
“Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspurs have reached a deal to transfer the player Rafael Van der Vaart to the English club,” it said in a statement on its website.
“Following the approval of the transfer by the RFEF (Spanish football federation) and the FA, the Premier League has confirmed the player’s signing.”
Van der Vaart has won 83 caps for Holland, scoring 16 goals, and has played in two European Championships and two World Cups, including this year’s tournament in South Africa where he featured five times in his side’s run to the final.
The 27-year-old was available at a cut-price rate after new Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho decided to cash in on a player who would have struggled to win a first-team place ahead of the likes of Kaka, Mesut Ozil and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Redknapp believes he has landed a bargain and, speaking before the move was completed, he said: “He is available now for about eight million. He is a quality player. He is a Dutch international and a great footballer.
“For that sort of money, he is a top player and he will improve us for sure. It’s a last minute job.”
On the attributes van der Vaart will bring to Tottenham, Redknapp said: “He is a great passer of the ball, he is a top footballer. He will join in here and play the way we like to play, he would be a big plus for us.”
Real signed van der Vaart from Bundesliga side Hamburg on a five-year contract in 2008 in a deal reportedly worth 13 million euros.
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