Tottenham secure Van der Vaart from Real Madrid for £8m
Tottenham Hotspur have secured the biggest signing of deadline day after the Premier League sanctioned the signing of Rafael Van der Vaart.
The Dutch midfielder seemed certain to be heading to Bayern Munich as Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho was keen to offload some of his playmaking riches, particularly after the recent arrivals of Mezut Ozil and Sergio Canales.
However, that deal collapsed close to the end of the window and Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp was alerted to the opportunity to acquire Van der Vaart to support both the club’s domestic and Champions League challenges.
The clubs urgency to file the necessary paperwork hit technical problems on Tuesday evening, meaning the deal could not be completed before the 6.00pm deadline, but after an investigation from the Premier League, the transfer was completed without any hitches.
Deals in the final seconds of the window are nothing new as last summer north London rivals Arsenal had to wait until two days after the window had closed before being told that their effort to sign Andrei Arshavin had been successful.
Furthermore, Redknapp himself only managed to complete the acquisition of Niko Kranjcar late on the most recent January transfer window.
One deal Redknapp did complete comfortably within the deadline was to sign Stipe Pletikosa from Spartak Moscow on loan for the remainder of the season.
The 31-year-old becomes the fourth Croatian at White Hart Lane and will provide competition for Heurelho Gomes in goal.
Pletikosa may even feature in goal in Spurs’ next Premier League game against West Brom as Gomes has been troubled by a groin injury, which resulted in Carlo Cudicini playing between the sticks in their home defeat against Wigan.
Tottenham are 33/1 to win the Champions League, but have been placed in a tough group including last year’s victors Inter Milan. See the whole Champions League winners market.