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Spurs seal 9m Crouch deal as Bent heads to Sunderland

TOTTENHAM last night agreed a deal with Portsmouth to sign striker Peter Crouch in a transfer believed to be worth around &pound;9m.<br /><br />The England front man underwent a medical at White Hart Lane yesterday before agreeing personal terms with the north London club.<br /><br />At the same time, however, Spurs are ready to offload Crouch&rsquo;s England team-mate Darren Bent, who looks set to complete a &pound;12m move to Sunderland in the next 48 hours.<br /><br />Crouch, 28, returns to the club where he started as a trainee and links up with boss Harry Redknapp for a third time after having previously played under him at Southampton and Portsmouth.<br /><br />Redknapp admitted last week he wasn&rsquo;t confident the deal would go through, indicating that Crouch, who turned down a move to Sunderland, may be too expensive. But cash-strapped Portsmouth have been forced to back down and agree a cut-price &pound;9m deal to ease their ailing finances before UAE businessman Sulaiman Al Fahim completes his takeover of the south-coast club.<br /><br />A Pompey spokesman explained: &ldquo;His sale was necessitated by the club&rsquo;s commitment to repay scheduled debts while we are in a transitional period of completing the takeover.&rdquo;<br /><br />Crouch now looks set to join up with his new team-mates at the club&rsquo;s pre-season camp in China and take the place of Bent, who pulled out at the very last minute, reportedly to meet Black Cats boss Steve Bruce and discuss terms.