Redknapp in dramatic bid to capture Van der Vaart
HARRY REDKNAPP was again involved in last-minute transfer-deadline drama yesterday when Tottenham made a late move to sign Rafael van der Vaart, Real Madrid's World Cup midfielder.
Van der Vaart (27) was set to sign for Bayern Munich on Monday, but when that deal fell through, Tottenham made an audacious approach and were last night awaiting confirmation from the Premier League that all relevant documents, including proof they had beaten the 6.0 deadline, had been received.
Last season, the Spurs manager beat the January deadline by seconds to sign Portsmouth's Niko Kranjcar and managed to brighten an otherwise dour final day of trading, with a deal in the region of £8m agreed for the former Ajax and Hamburg player, who is eligible for Spurs' Champions League campaign.
Redknapp said: "He was going to Bayern Munich for £18m and suddenly he became an awful lot cheaper. The chairman came on to me and said 'look, he's available now, for about £8m.'
"The fee came crashing down because the deadline got close. He's a quality player, a Dutch international, a great footballer and for that sort of money he's a top player and he would certainly improve us, for sure so we made the effort.
"It was only when the chairman rang me about four o'clock and said there was an opportunity, I said that he wanted to have a go let's crack on and see if we can pull it off."
But while incoming transfers were relatively quiet, there was a significant departure, with Robinho marking the second anniversary of his £32.5m British-record move to Manchester City as an AC Milan player today, having cost the Eastlands club almost £2m a goal since his arrival from Real Madrid.
Following weeks of uncertainty surrounding his future, the Brazilian forward completed a transfer worth an initial £14.9m (€18m ) to the San Siro on Tuesday afternoon. That figure could rise to £18.2m subject to add-ons worth £3.3m (€4m ).
Yet having signalled the beginning of the Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan era at City by signing shortly before midnight on September 1, 2008, Robinho is likely to be recorded as English football's most costly failure.
With City's total outlay on the player, including Robinho's £160,000-a-week wages, totalling £45m -- not including his six-month loan at Santos earlier this year -- the £14.9m banked from his sale to Milan means that each of the 26-year-old's 53 appearances came at a cost of £567,900, with his 16 goals scored at the rate of £1.88m each.
More lucrative deals had been agreed with Besiktas and Fenerbahce in recent weeks, but with Robinho ruling out a move to Turkey and Barcelona passing up the opportunity to sign the player, Milan emerged as the only viable option going into deadline day.
Having made clear his desire to leave Eastlands following his return from his loan at Santos, however, Robinho is understood to have forfeited a £2m golden handshake.
Sunderland completed the biggest signing in the Premier League prior to the deadline by securing Ghana forward Asamoah Gyan in a £13.2m deal from Rennes. The 24-year-old, who scored three goals during Ghana's progression to the World Cup quarter-finals this year, signed a four-year contract at the Stadium of Light just 20 minutes before the deadline.
Former Chelsea forward Eidur Gudjohnsen was one of three deadline day arrivals at Stoke, with the Iceland international completing a loan move from Monaco.
Jermaine Pennant finalised a six-month loan from Real Zaragoza, while Ireland U-21 defender Marc Wilson arrived from Portsmouth in a player-plus-cash deal involving Liam Lawrence and Dave Kitson.
As expected, Liverpool completed the signing of Fulham defender Paul Konchesky for an undisclosed fee, believed to be £4m with Anfield youngsters Lauri Dalla Valle and Alex Kacaniklic heading to Craven Cottage as part of the deal.
Birmingham City revealed the extent of their Premier League ambitions by securing Alexander Hleb on a season's loan and the exciting Chilean winger Jean Beausejour on a permanent deal.
Birmingham's £4m move for Beausejour, a strong wide man, from the Mexican side Club America, may be a shrewd one, based on a World Cup showing which included a dazzling opening 20 minutes against Spain in the group stage.
On a day on which Tottenham and Liverpool failed to secure the forward options Harry Redknapp and Roy Hodgson badly wanted -- West Ham rejected Liverpool's £9m bid for Carlton Cole and Spurs' £10m bid for Ryan Babel came to nothing -- Birmingham also secured Martin Jiranek, the Spartak Moscow captain, to bolster their central defence.
Owen Coyle's rebuilding at Bolton continued with the signing of forward Rodrigo Moreno from Benfica on a season's loan, subject to clearance.
Wigan also sought to bolster, signing England U-21 midfielder Tom Cleverley from Manchester United on a season-long loan and Chelsea's 21-year-old Argentinian striker Franco Di Santo on a three-year deal.
With most Premier League clubs keeping their chequebooks firmly closed, analysts Deloitte said total spending this summer was around £330m -- 25pc down on last year.
It was otherwise a story of the deals that never were. Arsenal move into the season without a new goalkeeper, with Shay Given's decision to stay at Manchester City meaning Fulham held on to Mark Schwarzer. Liverpool must depend on young striker David Ngog as back-up for Fernando Torres after a fruitless pursuit of a second striker. (© Daily Telegraph, London)