Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Canny Daniel Levy agrees first Tottenham summer signing with £33.2m fee splashed out

Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy during NFL UK Series, Atlanta Falcons versus New York Jets

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has reportedly given the green light for the permanent signing of Dejan Kulusevski to go through this summer – with the deal poised to earn Spurs a decent saving.

The Swede moved to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in January on an initial loan deal from Juventus. Arriving alongside Rodrigo Bentancur, the pair became the first signings of the Antonio Conte era at Spurs.

Both men have quickly bedded in and made their mark under Conte too. While Bentancur has made 11 Premier League appearances, 10 of them as starts, it is Kulusevski who has made the biggest impact.

In fact, Tottenham’s gain has very much been Arsenal’s loss, with their North London rivals rejecting his signing for two reasons.

However, some may have wondered if there was a place for him in the Spurs side. With Harry Kane and Heung-min Son almost guaranteed starters, Kulusesvki also faces a battle with Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura for the third attacking role.

However, the Swede has quickly made himself an indispensable figure in Conte’s side. As such, he has three goals and six assists from 12 Premier League matches. That amounts to a goal involvement every 101 minutes he’s played in the Premier League.

And to put that into more context, that’s a better record than Liverpool signing Luis Diaz, who has  – quite rightly – also earned plenty of plaudits. The Colombian, who cost Liverpool an initial £37.4m, has four goals and two assists from 12 appearances.

That equates to a goal involvement every 130 minutes he’s been on the field.

Terms of the transfer deal explained

When Spurs signed Kulusevski, Levy and director Fabio Paratici negotiated a smart 18-month loan deal with an option to buy.

That presented Spurs with three possible options. Firstly, send the player back when his loan expires following the 2022/23 season. Secondly, buy him in summer 2023; or thirdly, activate the deal early this summer.

As such, it’s been widely reported Spurs look likely to take up his signing this summer.

Now that plan has been confirmed by the Evening Standard.

They claim Levy has given Paratici the green light to secure the deal this summer – and by doing so, Spurs will make a sizeable £4.2m saving.

Having paid £8.2m to bring him in on loan, Spurs can activate his permanent signing this summer for £24.9m. That takes the total cost of his signing to £33.2m.

By taking up the option to sign him in 2023, Spurs would instead have to pay £29.1m. That would take the overall deal to a far heftier £37.4m – £4.2m greater than the sum required this summer.

Dejan Kulusevski glad to prove Juventus wrong

It’s safe to say that Dejan Kulusevski and Tottenham are a perfect match for one another.

During his time at Juventus, the Sweden international was something of a periphery figure, often deployed off the bench.

However, he now looks to be enjoying his football and the player has spoken out about his satisfaction at life with Tottenham.

“I think that I wanted to show everybody what I could do,” he told Tottenham’s official website. “I think I maybe became even more motivated. And I love proving people wrong, so I was very hungry when I came here.

“But, still, I knew it would be very, very difficult to arrive in a new league and everything that comes with that. A lot of things had to click, and, honestly, everything has clicked so well.

Conte set on first summer signing for Tottenham

Antonio Conte is set on his first summer signing for Tottenham Hotspur as they look to sign Dejan Kulusevski on a permanent deal following loan

“With the coaches, they found the perfect position for me, so I can have the ball a lot, attack the goal and have opportunities to score goals and assist my team-mates.

“I think you can see, when I play, I play freely, without really thinking, without worrying about mistakes, I just play my game. That is when I play at my best. I am happy when I can do that.

“And my teammates have been amazing. From the first day, I got a really warm welcome and, on the pitch, we have fun together – that’s very good. I also knew some of them from before.

“The most important thing is that we have fun away from the pitch and we are like a family and then, on the pitch, everything is easier.”