Relief for Spurs as Premier League ratify van der Vaart deal

Tottenham today confirmed the £8m signing of Rafael van der Vaart from Real Madrid after the Premier League gave them the green light to add the Holland midfielder to their squad.

Spurs had been sweating on clearance to bring the 27-year-old to White Hart Lane after technical difficulties hampered their efforts to submit the relevant paperwork for the move 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 ratified the signing.

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."

Tottenham announced: "We are delighted to announce that we have reached agreement with Real Madrid for the transfer of Rafael van der Vaart."

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 £18m on Monday but the move broke down.

However, that was categorically denied this afternoon by the Spanish giants, with sports director Miguel Pardeza telling his club's official website, www.realmadrid.com: "It is absolutely false that Real Madrid received a €21m 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's from Portsmouth for almost a week due to a wrangle over whether the paperwork had been submitted before the deadline.

But they needed to make a decision on Van der Vaart by 5pm today, as that was the cut-off point for clubs to submit their 25-man senior squads for the first half of the Premier League season.

Speaking yesterday, Redknapp said of Van der Vaart's impending arrival: "They let me know around 4pm that he was available for £8m 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 has struggled to establish himself at Madrid since joining them two years ago.

The midfielder came through the ranks at Ajax and won two league titles before transferring to Hamburg in 2005.

He was the Bundesliga side's leading scorer in his first season and went on to captain them before moving to the Spanish capital.

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 switch from Spartak Moscow yesterday afternoon, with the north Londoners thought to have an option to make the deal permanent.

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