The news has come in that Rafael van der Vaart’s move to White Hart Lane with Tottenham has gone through, despite some late technical issues reported earlier.
The Dutchman had been deemed surplus to requirements at the Santiago Bernabeu and with the window about to latch shut, Spurs’ manager Harry Redknapp was able to pull off a fabulous deal.
The Premier League said in a statement: “The Premier League can confirm the transfer of Rafael van der Vaart’s registration from Real Madrid to Tottenham Hotspur.”
It is not the first time the Premier League have assessed whether a transfer has been completed before the deadline.
In February 2009, they took a day to sanction Andrei Arshavin’s move to Arsenal.
A year earlier, Manchester City were unable to formally announce the signing of Benjani Mwaruwari’s from Portsmouth for almost a week due to a wrangle over whether the paperwork had been submitted before the deadline.
Tottenham announced: “We are delighted to announce that we have reached agreement with Real Madrid for the transfer of Rafael van der Vaart.”
Van der Vaart himself was ecstatic with his move.
“Four years at Spurs, for €11 million, I can hardly believe it myself,” Van der Vaart told De Telegraaf. “It’s a pity I cannot now play against Ajax in the Champions League but I will get to face FC Twente.”
The speed of a deal came as a surprise to the player, who said: “The interest from Tottenham came very quick and I did not have much time to think. But I want to play football again and if possible every week, with a beautiful club. I ‘m totally happy.”
Van der Vaart has played in Netherlands, Germany and Spain and is now looking forward to a new chapter in his career.
“I am excited about playing in England. Whether it suits my style remains to be seen, but I think a good footballer can adapt and I am very proud of this transfer.”
Van der Vaart helped Holland reach this summer’s World Cup final but struggled to establish himself at Real after joining them two years ago.
The midfielder came through the ranks at Ajax and won two league titles before moving to Hamburg in 2005.
He was the Bundesliga side’s leading scorer in his first season and went on to captain them before joining Real. He has won 83 caps for Holland, scoring 16 goals and representing his country at two European Championships and two World Cups.
The midfielder technically becomes Redknapp’s second deadline-day signing.
Croatia goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa finally completed his season-long loan move Spartak Moscow yesterday afternoon, with the north Londoners thought to have an option to make the deal permanent.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp last night revealed he was alerted to the availability of Holland star Van de Vaart just two hours before the window closed at 6pm.
Redknapp claimed the 27-year-old had been set to join Bayern Munich for £18million on Monday but the move broke down.
He said on Sky Sports News: “We are waiting to see if it has all gone through and we are hoping it has.
“It’s something to do with clearance.
“I think he was going to Bayern Munich yesterday for £18million and suddenly he became much cheaper.
“They let me know around 4pm that he was available for £8million and, for that money, he is a top player who will definitely improve us.
“The fee has come crashing down because the deadline is so close.
“He’s a great passer of the ball, he’s a top footballer, he will join in here and be a big plus for us.”
Madrid claimed they had met the deadline for the transfer of Van der Vaart and also denied Redknapp’s assertion the player was subject of an £18million bid from Bayern.
Sporting director Miguel Pardeza told his club’s official website, www.realmadrid.com: “Real Madrid met all the deadlines regarding the transfer of Van der Vaart.
“It’s now up to the Premier League to accept the signing so that we can make it official.
“It is absolutely false that Real Madrid received a 21million euro offer from Bayern Munich for Van der Vaart.
“In fact, the German team never showed an interest to sign the player, so the allegations made in England have greatly surprised us.”