Tottenham have announced the signing of Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes on an initial 18-month loan deal featuring a £42.76m option to buy.
Spurs have beaten the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and West Ham to the 21-year-old’s signature, with the trio of clubs all linked with a move for him in recent weeks.
Fernandes has been part of Benfica’s academy since 2012 and made his first-team debut for the Portuguese giants last season, before being named the Primera Liga’s best young player in August last year.
The midfielder went on to make 22 appearances last season and finished the campaign as a league champion. In total, the player has made 59 outings for Benfica, scoring three goals and assisting seven others.
The loan deal will run until the end of next season but according to Sky Sports News, Spurs have the option of paying £42.76m to make the move permanent.
Fernandes told Spurs’ official website: “I’m very happy to be here today – I make my dream a reality. “For me, it’s one big dream to come to this big club.
“I will try to give my best for the club every day, in every training session and in every game and I will try to help the team wherever I can, working hard every day for this shirt.
“I have no words to say about the stadium. I’ve never seen anything like this – it’s unbelievable!
“The training ground is fantastic too, the people that I’ve met today are fantastic. I know the squad because I’ve watched some games, I have some references like Moussa Sissoko, I know a little bit about Eric Dier because he played in Portugal and I know the coach [Jose Mourinho] because he’s a big coach.
“I know about the staff [Assistant Head Coach Joao Sacramento and Goalkeeper Coach Nuno Santos] a little bit as well because one of my friends last year played at [their former club] Lille, so he spoke with me a little bit about the staff.
“This is a fantastic challenge that I have accepted and I have to win my challenge. I want to make good things – let’s see!”
Fernandes’ arrival will be a welcome boost for Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho, who has had to contend with a key injury to Moussa Sissoko, who will be out for a prolonged period.
Previous reports have indicated that Norwich right-back Max Aarons is on Spurs’ radar and the North London club are said to have stepped up their chase for the Englishman in recent days.