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Jan 26, 2009

Spurs seal double deal for Cudicini and Chimbonda

Tottenham Hotspur have signed Chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini on a free transfer and have also wrapped up a deal for ex-Spurs defender Pascal Chimbonda.

Cudicini, who was out of contract in the summer, has been given the security of a contract of at least 18 months at White Hart Lane.

Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham manager, is desperate for experienced goalkeeping cover after loaning out César Sánchez to Valencia and with doubts over the suitability of Ben Alnwick.

Although Spurs are still languishing near the foot of the Premier League Cudicini does not regret swapping Champions League football for a survival battle.

"At this moment the team is not in the best position but it doesn't matter - I'm here to bring some experience and try to push this club forward," the 35-year-old said.

"It's five months until the end of the season and we have to fight in every game to get out of this situation as soon as possible. I hope I bring some points."

Cudicini, who played second fiddle to Petr Cech at Stamford Bridge, said: "I'm really happy with this choice. This was the time to find a new challenge and push for other success - and for the club as well."

Meanwhile, Sunderland defender Pascal Chimbonda is on his way back to Tottenham after just six months on Wearside.

Chimbonda left White Hart Lane in the summer but failed to settle in the north-east and will now provide Spurs boss Redknapp with cover across his defence.

The 29-year-old Frenchman will not, however, be available for the home Premier League clash against Stoke City on Tuesday evening.

''I've signed him and he's coming here,'' Redknapp said. ''The deal should have been done in the morning but it's over-run the deadline for him to play against Stoke. It was done 15 minutes too late which was disappointing. Otherwise he would have been available.''

Sunderland boss Ricky Sbragia said: ''Since he came to the club, he has struggled to settle. We had the opportunity of maybe making things a little bit happier for him.

''He's a good player but he just had issues with himself and he has struggled, really from day one, to get things going at the club. It was an opportunity for him and for the club.''

The deal is something of a strange move for Tottenham, having already recruited three right-backs at the cost of over £20m in Alan Hutton, Vedran Corluka and Chris Gunter.

The French defender had made just 16 appearances for Sunderland since his summer move from White Hart Lane, but has started the last four games. After a promising first few weeks at the Stadium of Light, he lost his place in the side under former boss Roy Keane amid rumours of disciplinary problems.

Chimbonda arrived on Wearside in July as part of the deal which also brought Teemu Tainio and Steed Malbranque to the club.

The fee for the three players remains undisclosed, but it is understood Sunderland will recoup their investment in the former Wigan full-back if the move goes through.

The development came as something of a surprise a day after Spurs boss Redknapp confirmed the club had made an offer for striker Kenwyne Jones.

Black Cats manager Ricky Sbragia has previously insisted none of his better players would be allowed to leave this month, although it remains to be seen whether or not that stance has changed amid suggestions that the Londoners have offered £6million plus Darren Bent in return.

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