Updates from Friday, Aug. 29
Sevilla are threatening legal action over the transfer of Federico Fazio to Tottenham, claiming the defender remains their property.
According to president Jose Castro, Spurs have paid the funds, but Sevilla have not received them, raising questions as to why he has already linked up with his new club. Estadio Deportivo provides the quotes, via ESPN:
As of today Fazio is [still] a Sevilla player, because he still has a contract with Sevilla which has not been rescinded. The money has been deposited, but not in the club's coffers.
I do not know what he is doing in England being presented, that is what I cannot understand, but for that we have a legal team who will study what they must do. It is not a satisfactory or desired departure. Tottenham have paid his clause, but he only goes when his contract has been rescinded.
Federico Fazio is heading to Tottenham after the Premier League side reached an agreement with Sevilla for the veteran center back.
Tottenham confirmed the transfer was now complete:
David Jaca of beIN Sports reports the deal is worth €10 million:
Fazio now a Spurs player, expect confirmation soon. Club paid €10m clause this afternoon. #THFC— David (@davidjaca) August 26, 2014
Fazio has been a stalwart member of the Sevilla back line for the better part of seven seasons. He played some of his best football to date last term both in La Liga action and while helping lead the club to a Europa League championship.
An imposing force in the middle of the pitch, he uses his 6'5'' size and physicality to create matchup advantages, especially on set pieces at both ends. He's terrific in the air and has improved his overall performance in recent years.
Ewan Roberts of Goal highlights his aerial effectiveness:
Federico Fazio had the best aerial duel success rate (76.9%) of players who won 50+ headers in La Liga last season (winning 120/156).— Ewan Roberts (@EwanRoberts) August 22, 2014
The only notable issue he's had in the past was dealing with strikers who had top-notch pace. He's worked hard to rectify that issue, however, and showed progress last season. That's likely part of the reason Tottenham had so much interest.
It's a disappointing move for Sevilla. Sky Sports provided comments from the club's sporting director, Monchi, who said they were hoping to sign the defender to a new deal but understood the release clause made keeping him difficult.
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"It seems that Tottenham is willing to pay the [release] clause," he said. "We are waiting to see the money in the Football League. We are not going to negotiate with anyone because our desire is to keep Fazio in Sevilla."
His arrival provides a boost to a Spurs defense that's kept clean sheets against West Ham and Queens Park Rangers to open the league campaign. The level of competition is obviously going to rise in the months ahead and Fazio will help as they push for a top-four finish.
Exactly how he'll fit into a pretty crowded group of center backs is the biggest question. But it's unlikely Tottenham would have completed the deal without Mauricio Pochettino having a clear plan in place, which should reveal itself in the weeks ahead.