Belfast Telegraph

Dembele raring to go at Spurs

Mousa Dembele cannot wait to get started at Tottenham after joining the north London club from Fulham in a move which cast further doubt on the future of Rafael van der Vaart.

Spurs and Fulham confirmed the transfer of Dembele for a fee understood to be in the region of £15million after the player passed a medical and agreed a five-year contract.

"I'm happy to join Spurs. It's a fantastic club," the 25-year-old Belgium midfielder said on www.tottenhamhotspur.com.

"You can see over the last few years that Spurs have played well. Everybody knows it's a good team and a good club and that's why I wanted to come here. The club have plans to do lots of good things and that's why I want to be a part of it."

Dembele is particularly looking forward to linking up with compatriot and fellow new boy Jan Vertonghen, who moved to White Hart Lane from Ajax last month.

"I know Jan from when I was 10 years old. We played together then," Dembele added. "I know him well. He's a great guy and he's said a lot of good things about this club.

"He says there are friendly people here and, for me, that's very important - to feel great somewhere. I'm sure I will here."

The news of Dembele's arrival followed a declaration by Hamburg that they would do everything possible to re-sign Van der Vaart before the transfer window closed. The Holland forward has been strongly linked with a return to his former club but the Bundesliga side's chairman, Carl-Edgar Jarchow, admitted on Wednesday time was 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."

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

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