Football: Tottenham pounce on Klinsmann for 2m: Sugar signs 'one of the best players in the world' on his yacht in Monte Carlo after lengthy pursuit of German forward

Henry Winter
Friday 29 July 1994 23:02

----------------------------------------------------------------- Foreign players bought by British clubs this summer ----------------------------------------------------------------- PLAYER FROM TO FEE DATE Michael Steensgaard (Den) Hvidovre Liverpool 300,000 24.5 Arjan Van Heudsen (Neth) Noordwijk Port Vale 4,500 24.5 Stefan Schwarz (Swe) Benfica Arsenal 1.75m 1.6 Bryan Roy (Neth) Foggia Notting Fo 2.5m 7.6 Brian Laudrup (Den) Fiorentina Rangers 2.2m 15.6 Claus Thomsen (Den) Aarhus Ipswich 250,000 16.6 Philomen Masinga (SA) Hamelodi Sundowns Leeds 275,000 21.6 Basile Boli (Fr) Marseille Rangers 2.7m 28.6 Mart Poom (Swit) FC Wil Portsmouth 200,000 3.7 Sieb Dykstra (Neth) Motherwell QPR 250,000 14.7 Mike Ammann (US) California State Charlton Free 15.7 Marc Hottiger (Swit) Sion Newcastle 600,000 26.7 Ilie Dumitrescu (Rom) Steaua Bucharest Tottenham 2.6m 27.7 Jurgen Klinsmann (Ger) Monaco Tottenham 2m 29.7 Jaime Moreno (Bol) Blooming Middlesbrough 250,000 29.7 Robby Slater (Aus) Lens Blackburn not known 29.7 -----------------------------------------------------------------

FOR THE last month, Tottenham Hotspur have been linked with many World Cup luminaries but no one expected yesterday's announcement that they had signed Jurgen Klinsmann, the Monaco and Germany striker, for 2m. The 30-year- old, one of the few Germans to return from USA '94 with his reputation enhanced, arrives at White Hart Lane on a two-year deal pending Monday's medical.

While Ossie Ardiles commanded the media spotlight by pursuing various Brazilians, Alan Sugar, the Tottenham chairman, moored his yacht off Monte Carlo for negotiations with Klinsmann. To good effect. Ardiles can now field one of the most exciting attacks in the Premiership with Klinsmann, Teddy Sheringham and Nick Barmby supported by Ilie Dumitrescu, the Romanian whom Ardiles will give the 'the freedom to go wherever he wants on the pitch'.

The Spurs manager was understandably 'delighted' about acquiring Klinsmann. 'Jurgen is a big, big signing. He is one of the best players in the world,' Ardiles said. 'Germany as a team did not have a good World Cup, but Jurgen did.

'The signing . . . is something that we have been working on for a long, long time. Going forward we are certainly going to be very, very strong.' Ronny Rosenthal, too, may soon be going places.

A week ago bookmakers were quoting Ardiles' side - who begin the season six points adrift - as 125-1 for the Premiership. The odds have been revised to 50-1.

The satchel-men's sudden caution is understandable. Klinsmann, a World Cup winner in 1990, managed five goals during Germany's unconvincing run to the quarter-finals this time - form good enough to attract interest from Sampdoria and two Spanish clubs.

'At first I considered going back to Italy,' the former Internazionale player told Sky News, 'then I was thinking more and more about Tottenham - a large and prestigious club. They gave me the possibility of playing for the championship. It's a challenge for me as the Premier League is one of the best leagues in Europe.'

The multilingual baker's son should know, a career characterised by wanderlust having taken him from Germany with Stuttgarter Kickers and VfB Stuttgart to Inter in Italy. A fruitless flirtation with Real Madrid occurred before Klinsmann played in his fourth country, France, with Monaco. Such a nomadic professional life is reflected in Klinsmann's main hobby: hitch- hiking across America.

Ardiles, having secured Klinsmann and Dumitrescu (who chose London N17 ahead of Bari, Padova, Monaco and Atletico Madrid), intimated that the club had not finished their overseas shopping. One more famous foreigner was being chased.

The influx of leading foreign internationals like Klinsmann and Dumitrescu, Bryan Roy and Stefan Schwarz, is down to money, Gordon Taylor believes. 'The Premier League did what it said it was going to do; it concentrated money in the elite,' the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, said yesterday. 'They are now better able to keep the likes of Alan Shearer and compete with European clubs in terms of wages.

'Professionals are very insecure. Their first priority is money. But another priority is to play in front of full theatres and our aggregate attendances are the highest in the world - even (than) Italy's. It is a great attraction that our games are played in front of packed crowds.'

Supporters, also, are well-behaved. 'The rest of the world has seen that the English disease of hooliganism has been controlled,' Taylor adds. 'That is in our favour in attracting foreign players.'

Taylor made a final point, that the invasion will foster better football here. 'If we have the likes of Ardiles, Dumitrescu, and Klinsmann in our league, the emphasis will be less on crash, bang, wallop and more on the passing style,' Taylor said. 'This will help England and Terry Venables.'

(Photograph omitted)

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