Tottenham have completed the signing of centre-back Radu Dragusin from Genoa in a move which has paved the way for Eric Dier to join Bayern Munich.
Romania international Dragusin has put pen to paper on a six-and-a-half-year deal at Spurs and is the club’s second addition of the January transfer window after Timo Werner’s arrival on loan on Tuesday.
A centre-back was always Ange Postecoglou’s number-one priority this month and Tottenham have secured the services of Dragusin in a deal that could rise to £25million, the PA news agency understands.
The 21-year-old has signed in time so that he could make his debut at Manchester United on Sunday and marks another shift in tactic by the club from their previously adopted transfer strategy.
Spurs have notoriously waited until the end of January to complete their winter business, signing both Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur on the final day of the window in 2022 and securing the services of Pedro Porro with minutes to spare last year.
Postecoglou publicly made clear his desire to sign another centre-back and to crucially bring in recruits early to enable them to get up to speed with his style of football as quickly as possible.
The Australian has got his wish, with Dragusin fitting the profile of player Tottenham are tracking under his stewardship.
Dragusin progressed through Juventus’ academy and made his debut as a substitute in December 2020, coming on against Dynamo Kyiv before being introduced for his Serie A bow in the same month away to Genoa with future team-mates Kulusevski and Bentancur on the pitch at the same time.
The following campaign brought loan spells with Sampdoria and Salernitana in Italy’s top flight, but it was a season-long loan at Genoa in 2022 which kickstarted his upward trajectory.
Dragusin starred for Genoa in their promotion back to Serie A, playing 38 times and scoring four goals before he made the move permanent in July.
Dragusin continued his excellent form but, after 22 appearances this term, he will now ply his trade in England.
Tottenham stepped up their pursuit of the centre-back last week, but had to battle late interest from Bayern Munich on Tuesday after they had finally reached an agreement with Genoa before Dragusin decided to move to the Premier League club on Wednesday.
He will provide much-needed depth in central defence alongside vice-captain Cristian Romero, summer recruit Micky van de Ven and Ben Davies.
Djed Spence, meanwhile, has headed in the other direction on loan for the rest of the season and Dragusin’s arrival has contributed to Dier’s anticipated exit.
Bayern registered an interest in Dier last week and, while they made a late bid to sign Dragusin, Spurs beating them to the Romanian’s signature has resulted in Thomas Tuchel’s side being forced to pursue other targets.
Bundesliga champions Bayern pressed forward with plans to sign Dier and he was given permission to travel to Germany on Thursday morning for a medical after a 4million euros (£3,440,000) deal was struck between the two clubs, PA understands.
Dier’s imminent transfer to Bayern will boost his faint hopes of forcing his way back into Gareth Southgate’s England squad and allow him to link up with former team-mate Harry Kane, who completed a £100m switch to Munich in August.