Football

Spurs star was 'worried' £8.5m deal would break down

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Tottenham centre-back Vlad Chiriches was left sweating on his £8.5m move to White Hart Lane after jailed Steaua owner Gigi Becali tried to block the move.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Chiriches revealed how Becali attempted to block the move after Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas had thought he'd tie up a deal for the centre-back in early August.

Becali is currently serving a three-year prison sentence for crimes related to land exchange deals.

Chiriches had made it clear he wanted to leave for the Premier League, and the Romanian international has now revealed he feared Becali could scupper the deal as the Steaua owner sought to keep the player at the club from his prison cell.

"There were some complications with the owner of Steaua Bucharest but they resolved it and now I'm here," Chiriches told the Daily Telegraph.

"It's in the past and now I'm leaving in the present and the future.

"Sure, I was worried the move wouldn't happen. When you see you're so close to a big club and something happens it's a bad feeling. I was worried I would not get to play here in the Premier League at such a big club.

"But I told them 'I want to go, I want to go' and the result is it was resolved."

Chiriches has also denied reports, originating from his agent, that he saw his move to Spurs as a stepping stone to Chelsea. Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas rejected the assertion, and Chiriches insists he's not aware of any interest from the Stamford Bridge club - and he's happy at Spurs.

The 23-year-old has made three Premier League appearances for Spurs, most recently partnering Michael Dawson at the heart of the Spurs defence in the 0-0 draw against Everton.

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Tottenham Hotspur

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