Belfast Telegraph

Van der Vaart 'totally happy' after moving to Tottenham Hotspur

Rafael van der Vaart was on a high tonight in after the Premier League sanctioned his whirlwind £8million move to Tottenham Hotspur.

VAN DER VAART 'TOTALLY HAPPY' TO EARN HIS SPURS

By Ben Rumsby, Press Association Sport



Spurs had been sweating on clearance to bring Holland midfielder Van der Vaart to White Hart Lane after technical difficulties hampered their efforts to submit the relevant paperwork for the signing before yesterday's 6pm transfer deadline.

But after investigating the club's claims that there were difficulties involving computer servers used in the transaction between themselves and Real, the Premier League today ratified the move.

That allowed Tottenham to announce the 27-year-old's signing less than two hours before top-flight clubs had to submit their 25-man squads for the first half of the league season.

Van der Vaart, deemed surplus to requirements at Real, told De Telegraaf: "Four years at Spurs, for 11million euros, I can hardly believe it myself.

"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.

"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."

Confirming they had given Van der Vaart's move the green light, 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."

Manager Harry Redknapp last night revealed he was alerted to Van der Vaart's availability just two hours before the window closed.

Redknapp also claimed the player had been set to join Bayern Munich for £18million on Monday until the move broke down.

However, that was categorically denied this afternoon by Real, with sports director Miguel Pardeza telling his club's website, realmadrid.com: "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."

Van der Vaart's transfer is not the first to be assessed by the Premier League over whether a deal 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 from Portsmouth for almost a week due to a wrangle over whether the paperwork had been submitted before the deadline.

But a decision on Van der Vaart needed to be made by 5pm today, as that was the cut-off point for clubs to submit their senior squads to the Premier League.

Speaking yesterday, Redknapp said of Van der Vaart's impending arrival: "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."

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.

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