Mousa Dembele excited to join up with Jan Vertonghen at Tottenham

 

Mousa Dembele cannot wait to get started at Tottenham after joining the north London club from Fulham in a move which cast further doubt on the future of Rafael van der Vaart.

Spurs and Fulham confirmed the transfer of Dembele for a fee understood to be in the region of £15million yesterday after the player passed a medical and agreed a five-year contract.

"I'm happy to join Spurs. It's a fantastic club," the 25-year-old Belgium midfielder said on http://www.tottenhamhotspur.com.

"You can see over the last few years that Spurs have played well. Everybody knows it's a good team and a good club and that's why I wanted to come here.

"The club have plans to do lots of good things and that's why I want to be a part of it."

Dembele is particularly looking forward to linking up with compatriot and fellow new boy Jan Vertonghen, who moved to White Hart Lane from Ajax last month.

"I know Jan from when I was 10 years old. We played together then," Dembele added. "I know him well. He's a great guy and he's said a lot of good things about this club.

"He says there are friendly people here and, for me, that's very important - to feel great somewhere. I'm sure I will here."

The news of Dembele's arrival followed a declaration by Hamburg that they would do everything possible to re-sign Van der Vaart before the transfer window closed.

The Holland forward has been strongly linked with a return to his former club but the Bundesliga side's chairman, Carl-Edgar Jarchow, yesterday admitted time was running out to convince Spurs to sell.

"There is not a lot of time - it is really up to Tottenham Hotspur," he told Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

"If we have a chance to sign him, we will do everything we can to make that happen."

That opportunity could present itself now Tottenham have successfully begun to sign some of their own targets during what looks set to be another frantic final 48 hours of a summer transfer window at White Hart Lane.

As well as triggering what was reportedly Dembele's Fulham release clause, new manager Andre Villas-Boas has renewed the interest he showed while Chelsea boss in Shakhtar Donetsk forward Willian, who could fill the void left by the departure of Luka Modric to Real Madrid.

Spurs have been heavily linked for some time with France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and there are reports they could be on the brink of agreeing a deal with Lyon in the region of £13million.

Van der Vaart is said to be valued at around £14million by Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy - almost double the figure Spurs paid Real Madrid for the 29-year-old two years ago.

PA

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