RAFAEL van der Vaart insists he has joined a “beautiful” club in Tottenham and says he can’t wait to pit his wits in the Premier League.
The dynamic Dutch midfielder was given the green light to join Spurs in a shock £8m move yesterday after the Premier League accepted that technical difficulties had hindered attempts to submit paperwork in time for Tuesday’s 6pm deadline.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp made a late move for the Real Madrid ace after only becoming aware of his cut-price availability just two hours before the window closed. The club then claimed, however, that computer server problems were hampering communication with Real, leaving them to face an anxious wait while Premier League chiefs investigated.
Van der Vaart established a reputation of one of Europe’s top midfield players after spells with boyhood club Ajax and Hamburg before joining Real Madrid for €13m deal in 2008.
But despite helping Holland reach the World Cup final, the 27-year-old is deemed surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu and says he is now ready for a new challenge.
He told the Dutch media: “Four years at Spurs, for €11m, I can hardly believe it myself. The interest from Tottenham came very quick and I did not have much time to think. But I want to play football again and if possible every week, with a beautiful club. I’m totally happy. I am excited about playing in England. Whether it suits my style remains to be seen, but I think a good footballer can adapt and I am very proud of this transfer.”
Real, however, have dismissed Redknapp’s claims that Van der Vaart was due to join Bayern Munich in a €21m deal on Monday. Sports director Miguel Pardeza said: “The German team never showed an interest to sign the player, so the allegations made in England have greatly surprised us.”