Relief for Spurs as van der Vaart deal gets green light

RAFAEL van der VAART’S £8million move to Tottenham from Real Madrid was the most high-profile of the transfer deadline-day deals to be ratified by the Premier League yesterday afternoon.

Spurs had been sweating on being given the green light to sign the Holland midfielder after technical issues hampered their attempts to submit the relevant paperwork prior to Tuesday night’s 6pm deadline.

But after investigating the club’s claims that there were difficulties involving computer servers used in the transaction between Tottenham and Real, the Premier League sanctioned the signing.

Tottenham had been involved in a scramble to land van der Vaart on Tuesday after only becoming aware of his availability two hours before the window shut.

Manager Harry Redknapp had suggested the cut-price transfer fee was the result of an £18million move for the player by Bayern Munich breaking down.

But that was categorically denied yesterday by the Spanish giants, who insisted no such offer had been made.

West Ham were another club made to wait before being able to announce a signing.

But the Premier League eventually gave their approval to the free transfer of Denmark right-back Lars Jacobsen from Blackburn.

Rovers denied they had failed to sign Bulgaria striker Ivelin Popov because the player was refused a work permit.

The club had looked at bringing the 22-year-old Litex Lovech forward to Ewood Park.

But they insisted they pulled the plug on the deal, not the British Government.

Popov had a trial at Blackburn last month but reports yesterday suggested he would only have been signed had Jason Roberts moved elsewhere on transfer deadline day.

Stoke claimed on Tuesday night they were awaiting Premier League approval on the triple signing of Eidur Gudjohnsen, Jermaine Pennant and Marc Wilson.

But not only did they get the green light, they also managed to convert what had been a season-long loan for Monaco’s Gudjohnsen into a permanent one-year deal, making their capture of the former Chelsea and Barcelona an even bigger coup.

The other transfer to be confirmed yesterday saw Everton announce defensive stalwart Joseph Yobo had completed his season-long loan move Turkish side Fenerbahçe.

This summer’s transfer deadline day was not the first to have seen the Premier League investigate whether a deal had been completed before the cut-off.

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 decisions needed to be made by 5pm yesterday, as that was the cut-off point for clubs to submit their 25-man senior squads for the first half of the Barclays Premier League season.


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