Harry sweats on £8m coup for Real ace

TOTTENHAM boss Harry Redknapp remained ‘hopeful’ of pulling off the biggest coup of transfer deadline day last night by luring Real Madrid ace Rafael van der Vaart to White Hart Lane in a cut-price £8m deal.

Redknapp admitted he was alerted to the Dutch midfielder’s availability just two hours before yesterday’s 6pm deadline, prompting a mad rush to complete the deal on time.

Spurs are now awaiting confirmation from the Premier League as to whether Van der Vaart can up sticks to north London.

Van der Vaart, 27, played in Netherlands’ World Cup final defeat to Spain in the summer, but has been frustrated by a lack of first-team opportunities at Real since joining from Hamburg in 2008.

“It’s still dragging on,” Redknapp said last night. “We have been trying to do something.

“We are waiting for clearance. The chairman [Daniel Levy] is dealing with it and Darren Eales the secretary, there is nothing more I can do now.

“I think he was going to Bayern Munich yesterday for £18m. He is available now for about £8m and we thought for that amount of money he is a top player.

“I’m hopeful, it could happen, honestly I wouldn’t like to say one way or the other. It was a last-minute job.”

Describing what Van der Vaart would bring to his side, Redknapp added: “He is a great passer of the ball, he is a top footballer. He will join in here and play the way we like to play, he would be a big plus for us.”

In a day which saw Redknapp clinch the season-long loan signing of Spartak Moscow goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa, the Spurs boss also admitted showing an interest in Van der Vaart’s Dutch team-mate, Liverpool forward Ryan Babel.

“We were interested in Ryan Babel, he was a player we made an enquiry for, but it never got that close,” Redknapp added.