Despite Harry Redknapp insisting there would be no more signings at White Hart Lane, the Real Madrid midfielder’s reasonable asking price lured Spurs into bidding for the player.
“I think he was going to Bayern Munich yesterday for Ã‚Â£18m and suddenly he became much cheaper,” said Redknapp before the deal was confirmed on Wednesday.
“They let me know around 4pm that he was available for Ã‚Â£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.”
Meanwhile in the North East, Sunderland spent lavishly on Ghana international Asamoah Gyan. The striker was a long-term target for Steve Bruce, the 24-year-old commanding a club record transfer fee in the region of Ã‚Â£13m.
“It’s been a long day, but finally I’m happy to be here and my family and friends are also happy for me,” Gyan told the club’s official website.
“The Sunderland coach has faith in me because he has been following me for two years now. I am pleased I have the opportunity to come to England.”
Stoke City officials were also kept busy at the Britannia Stadium, where the club welcomed new arrivals Eidur Gudjohnsen and Jermaine Pennant on loan.
Elsewhere, Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish secured the exciting signing of Barcelona attacking midfielder Alexander Hleb on loan.
“Birmingham are a stable club and the manager, Alex McLeish, is a good professional,” said Hleb. “They are not Arsenal, who play every year in the Champions League, but for me it is important now to be playing regularly and returning to my previous level.
“To be honest, the last year-and-a-half hasn’t been what it should. But the deal with Birmingham is my chance and I must take it.”
Spartak Moscow captain Martin JirÃƒÂ¡nek also joined the St Andrews side for an undisclosed fee.
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