The Premier League have given Tottenham Hotspur permission to sign Rafael van der Vaart from Real Madrid.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp was alerted to the availability of Van der Vaart late on deadline day and quickly agreed a deal with the midfielder.
However, the €11 million deal was not completed in time for the Premier League’s 6pm deadline, and Spurs claimed that they had difficulties with the computer servers used in the transaction, which hindered their attempts to complete the paperwork on time.
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.”
A statement on Spurs’ website read: “We are delighted to announce that we have reached agreement with Real Madrid for the transfer of Rafael Van der Vaart. The Holland international came through the ranks at Ajax and won two league titles during 141 appearances with the Eredivisie side, scoring 60 goals before leaving for Hamburg in the summer of 2005.
“The attacking midfielder, 27, was the Bundesliga side’s leading scorer in his first season in Germany and went on to captain the side before joining Real Madrid ahead of the 2007/08 campaign. Rafael has been capped by Holland a total of 83 times, scoring 16 goals, since making his international debut against Andorra in 2001 at the age of 18.
“He has since represented the Netherlands at two European Championships and two World Cups, including this summer’s tournament in South Africa where he featured five times in the side’s run to the final.”
Van der Vaart has already spoken of his delight at agreeing a deal and is looking forward to playing in England.
“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 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.”