Tottenham Transfer News: Spurs Reportedly Agree to Sign Vlad Chiriches
Needing to add depth in central defense, Tottenham has turned to Steaua Bucharest's Vlad Chiriches, finalizing a deal that has been in the works for some time.
From AFP (via FIFA.com):
Tottenham Hotspur have agreed terms with Steaua Bucharest to buy defender Vlad Chiriches, the Romanian side's coach, Laurentiu Reghecampf said today.
'The clubs have agreed on the transfer and I am happy for him,' Reghecampf told a news conference.
Steaua general manager Mihai Stoica said that the transfer fee had been set at €9.5million, which would be a record for the 1986 European champions. The 23-year-old Chiriches joined Steaua in January 2012. He has been capped 19 times for Romania.
UPDATE: Tuesday, Aug. 27
From Radu Baicu:
Chiriches has agreed personal terms with #THFC. Deal can be closed right after the medical check.— Radu Baicu (@rbaicu) August 27, 2013
Chiriches in a tough spot though: deal with #THFC not signed just yet / massive game tonight for his colleagues&friends. What to do...— Radu Baicu (@rbaicu) August 27, 2013
It looked as though a deal was going to go through in early August, only to have the transfer squashed in the most unusual of circumstances. According to ESPN, Steaua owner Gigi Becali rejected a £7 million deal for Chiriches from prison.
That's right—prison. Per that ESPN report, "Becali is currently in prison after abusing the country's land exchange system, but used his daily phone call to ring general manager Mihai Stoica and make it clear the player was absolutely not for sale."
At the time, Becali and Stoica both cited the need to keep the player while Steaua was in the Champions League, with Stoica saying Chiriches wouldn't be sold until the winter transfer window.
Thus, the timing of the transfer is a bit odd considering the earlier stance of the owner and general manager, as Steaua is currently in a Champions League playoff against Legia Warsaw. The two teams tied in Romania, 1-1, and will head to back to Poland for the second leg on Tuesday.
Given the record amount of money involved in the transfer for Steaua, perhaps it was simply an offer the Romanian club could not refuse.
Chiriches will join Spurs' centre-back ranks and will likely be a third- or fourth-choice player once all of Tottenham's players at the position are healthy. With Jan Vertonghen recovering from an ankle injury and Younes Kaboul playing off the rust after a year on the sidelines due to injury, the Romanian's addition will be very important in the short term
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