Hamburg poised to pip Spurs in race for Ruud
Tottenham were facing frustration last night as transfer target Ruud van Nistelrooy edged closer to a move to Hamburg.
Spurs manager Harry Redknapp, had been optimistic of signing the Real Madrid striker and meeting his demands for an 18-month contract, but Hamburg stole a march by sending a doctor to Spain to carry out a preliminary medical.
Tottenham had been willing to offer him a pay-as-you-play deal, because of concerns about the 33-year-old's knee injury.
Stoke and West Ham had also made approaches for the Dutch forward, believing that he might come relatively cheap because there is no transfer fee.
However, the deal is not been as straightforward because Van Nistelrooy is entitled to about £2m if he sees out his contract at Real, which ends this summer.