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Transfer news: England defender Steven Caulker leaves Tottenham in £9m deal to Cardiff City

Young England defender had been linked with Liverpool and Manchester City but Cardiff have pulled off a coup to land the 21-year-old

Tottenham defender Steven Caulker has completed his move to Cardiff for a fee in the region of £9m that has broken the club's previous transfer record, set when they signed Andreas Cornelius earlier this summer.

Caulker has emerged as a young talent at Spurs in the last couple of seasons, but it seems that Spurs were willing to let him go in the search for regular first team action, putting pen to paper on a four-year-deal with the Bluebirds.

The 21-year-old made 29 appearances last season, and has been tipped as a future England regular having made his debut in the friendly defeat to Sweden last November.

Caulker has been linked with a move to Manchester City and Liverpool in the past, after he showed promise early in his career having made 21 appearances for England at youth level as well as featuring in last year's Olympic tournament.

Caulker told Cardiff City Player: "First and foremost I want to say how happy I am to have signed with Cardiff City Football Club. I'm delighted to be here and excited for this fresh challenge.

"I spoke to the gaffer (Malky Mackay) yesterday, liked what he had to say and am excited about the plans he has for the football club.

"You get the sense of excitement from everybody at the club in the build-up to the season's kick-off at West Ham and I'm really looking forward to being part of it."

Tottenham have been seen to be running light in the centre-back department, having released William Gallas at the end of last season and having Jan Vertonghen carried off on a stretcher with an ankle injury during their Barclays Asia Trophy match in Hong Kong, although the injury isn’t as bad as first feared.

Manager Andre Villas-Boas also has concerns over the long-term fitness of Younes Kaboul, who suffered an injury hit campaign last season despite remaining in is manager’s plans.

The sale of Caulker suggests that Spurs are close to sealing the purchase of either Steaua Bucharest defender Vlad Chiriches of Sporting Lisbon’s Tiago Ilori, who have been increasingly linked with a move over the last few days.

They had put a £12m price tag on Caulker, but it seems they lowered their asking price to allow him to move away from White Hart Lane, with Cardiff attempting to strengthen their squad ahead of their bid for Premier League survival.

They had previously made an offer for Espanyol defender Hector Moreno, but saw their bid rejected rejected before moving for Caulker.