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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 31, 2006

Tottenham clinch Chimbonda deal

Tottenham took their spending to around £12million inside a week after they finally completed the signing of Wigan full-back Pascal Chimbonda on Thursday night.

Earlier, Tottenham added Fulham's Steed Malbranque to their ranks.

Tottenham, who completed the signing of Egyptian striker Mido on a permanent deal worth £4million earlier in the week, will pay around £2million for Malbranque and an estimated £6million for Chimbonda.

Tottenham moved again for the French defender after having two bids for the player rejected in the summer, and Wigan confirmed the deal had gone through, beating the midnight transfer deadline.

Chimbonda, 27, was desperate to move to White Hart Lane after handing in a transfer request on the final day of last season.

Having joined Wigan from Bastia last season, Chimbonda's form in his first season in the Premiership earned him an international call-up from France.

Tottenham had switched their attentions elsewhere after Wigan insisted they would not budge from their £6million valuation of the full-back.

But the Lancashire side accepted an improved offer from Tottenham and Chimbonda travelled to London to complete the formalities.

Wigan manager Paul Jewell said: 'I think we have been strong enough to hold out for what we think Pascal is worth. I had a price in mind all along and was never prepared to accept anything less than that. I feel we have achieved that goal.

'No-one knew the name Pascal Chimbonda in this country 12 months ago, now he is one of the most recognisable faces in the Premiership, a French international who sat on the bench in the World Cup final and is a member of the PFA team of the year.

'That is down in large part to this club taking a risk on the player and giving him a chance in the Premiership.

'I can't deny that the whole saga at times has been a distraction to myself and maybe even the dressing room. I get the feeling that the players are just as relieved as me that we have reached a conclusion.

'There's no denying we would have loved to keep him here. However, his actions have always given the impression that he wanted out and therefore my priority was getting the right price.

'I would like to thank Pascal for the way he played last season and being part of a special team who achieved a great deal. I genuinely wish him well in the future.'

Tottenham had already completed the signing of injured midfielder Malbranque before Wigan accepted their offer for Chimbonda. The deal also saw winger Wayne Routledge moving to Fulham on a season-long loan.

Malbranque played more than 200 games in all competitions for the Cottagers after joining from Lyon at the start of the 2001-02 season and scored 32 goals in 160 starts in the Premiership.

However, the 26-year-old is expected to be out for at least two months with a persistent groin problem.

Jol said: 'Steed is a skilful, versatile midfielder of real quality. He is a player we have always admired and we are delighted he has come to us, there were a number of other clubs interested.

'He is a player who can cover the left, centre and right midfield positions and will work well within our system.'

Malbranque added: 'Tottenham is a big club and it's a fantastic new challenge for me. It's an excellent squad and I'm looking forward to joining.

'I will be working hard on my recovery and rehabilitation in order to be ready to play as soon as possible.'

Routledge is hoping the loan move will help put his career back on track after admitting his frustration at not being able to dislodge Aaron Lennon from the first team at White Hart Lane.

'This is a great opportunity to get back into first-team football, and especially as it is with a club whose footballing style I have always liked,' the 21-year-old said.