Tottenham Hotspur signed two new players during the January transfer window, but one of them would have been happy to remain where he was before.
Timo Werner joined Tottenham on loan from RB Leipzig and Radu Dragusin arrived in a permanent deal from Genoa to strengthen Ange Postecoglou’s attack and defence respectively.
However, it has now been confirmed that Dragusin was keen to see out the season with Genoa after helping them win promotion to Serie A last year.
“He wanted to stay and help us achieve our goals,” their chief executive Andres Blazquez told La Gazzetta Dello Sport.
“But his sale was necessary to acquire new players such as [Emil] Bohinen, [Djed] Spence, [David] Ankeye and Vitinha.”
Tottenham paid Genoa a transfer fee in the region of €30m to sign Dragusin, who has since made three substitute appearances for his new club.
In contrast, he previously failed to miss a single minute of the first half of Genoa’s Serie A season, which may explain why he would have gladly stayed there.
But Genoa were glad to capitalise on the growing interest in Dragusin, as Blazquez – a member of the 777 Partners enterprise also hoping to have their takeover of Everton approved – has explained.
“We are satisfied because the market was tied to a commercial deal,” Blazquez added. “We could do nothing if we hadn’t sold some players and lowered the wage bill.
“So we realised that Dragusin was the player with the most requests and that we were quite covered in that position.
“He received an important offer. We will miss him because he is a great professional, but having sold to a club like Tottenham was certainly prestigious.”
Genoa CEO backs up Dragusin agent claim
It is no surprise to hear that Dragusin wanted to stay put with Genoa, since his agent said something similar before his Tottenham move occurred.
Florin Manea told Play TV in early January: “He does not think about money, but about prospects for growth and the team he can play for.
“We were contacted by Saudi Pro League clubs, but he did not even want to listen to their proposals. Personally, I have not been contacted by Napoli, Roma or AC Milan.
“In any case, Radu is not thinking about leaving Genoa mid-season, it would be like leaving some unfinished business for him.
“I have had contact with clubs in the Premier League, including Tottenham and others, but at this moment he does not want to leave.”
In the end, Dragusin did complete his move to Tottenham on a contract until 2030. The fact he agreed to their offer of personal terms suggests he wasn’t too disheartened about making the move.
Genoa open door to next deal with Tottenham
On the same day that Tottenham confirmed Dragusin’s arrival, they announced Djed Spence had moved on loan in the opposite direction.
Spence spent the first half of the season on loan at Leeds, but was sent back from the Championship outfit ahead of schedule.
In turn, the right-back embarked on his second spell abroad after being on loan in France with Rennes this time last year.
Interestingly, Blazquez has revealed that Genoa looked at Spence last summer, before the Dragusin deal even developed.
And although the 23-year-old is only on loan in Italy, Fabrizio Romano has claimed they have an option to buy him – and Genoa can indeed envisage him staying there for longer.
“He can be an important signing for the future,” Blazquez suggested.
“We had already opened talks last summer, but he was too expensive and we believe he will give us great satisfaction.”
Spence has started three Serie A matches for Alberto Gilardino’s side since his recent move.
After 23 games, Genoa find themselves mid-table in the Italian top flight, sitting in 11th place and being 11 points clear of the relegation zone.