Redknapp recalls Levy's little gift

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp has revealed the comical circumstances that led to Rafael van der Vaart's arrival at White Hart Lane last August.

Recalling the last-gasp deadline day deal earlier this season, Redknapp admitted that he had initially believed the Dutch international was only available on loan, only for Spurs chairman Daniel Levy to inform him that he was available for a cut-price £8 million.

Van der Vaart had reportedly been on the verge of a £20 million return to the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich, although that claim was refuted by both the Netherlands international and Redknapp.

"I spoke to Daniel about loaning him and he said we can do a loan deal for Van Der Vaart," the Spurs boss told Absolute Radio, "He then came back about an hour later saying he had a 'little gift' for me.

"I thought 'Oh here we go... that old Mondeo, he’s going to change it for me'. He said 'No, I’ve bought Van der Vaart', so I said thought great!"

The Spurs boss also lavished praise upon the 27-year-old for his performances so far this season, stating that he has been a great addition to the setup at White Hart Lane.

"He is a good player and a very good footballer.

"He’s got that knack as well, he’s not afraid to get in there and head the ball. As soon as the ball goes in the box he’s in there.

"He likes to play behind or he can play off behind two strikers, but he’ll certainly always weigh in with his goals, as he’s proved this year."

Van der Vaart’s goal tally for the season has reached 12 in 23 appearances – a record which he will wish to continue as Tottenham continue to work towards securing a Champions League place for the second successive year.

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By Elliott Binks