Spurs swoop for ex-Barca starlet Ceballos

LONDON - Tottenham Hotspur have signed highly-rated former Barcelona youth player Cristian Ceballos after a successful trial, the Premier League club said on Monday.

The 18-year-old attacking midfielder, who also plays as a forward, spent nearly seven years with European champions Barcelona after joining them when he was 11.

"Cristian trained hard and showed some real quality when he originally spent time here towards the end of last season and was even involved in some of the first team training," technical co-ordinator Tim Sherwood told the club website.

"There was other interest in him too. He needs to be patient and if he can fulfil his potential we believe he can play at the top level."

Ceballos also had a trial with Spurs' London rivals Chelsea.