Jenas escapes goldfish bowl

Newcastle, having paid a club record fee for Michael Owen, were also involved in the second biggest deal of the final day of the transfer window when Jermaine Jenas joined Tottenham Hotspur for £7-million.

In addition, the Tyneside club re-signed the 30-year-old Nolberto Solano from Aston Villa for the same amount, £1,5-million, for which they sold the Peruvian 19 months ago. James Milner has moved in the opposite direction to spend a season on loan at Villa Park.

Jenas, who is part of England’s squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Northern Ireland, has signed a five-year contract at Tottenham. He will be joined at White Hart Lane by the South Korea full-back Lee Young-pyo, who has agreed a four-year deal subject to a work permit being granted.

Lee, a £2-million signing from PSV, will fill the void left by Erik Edman at White Hart Lane; the Swedish full-back has joined Rennes on a three-year deal. Reto Ziegler is also on his way out, joining Hamburg on loan for the season.

Jenas, who was expected to leave after saying that playing for Newcastle was “like living in a goldfish bowl”, will face competition from Michael Carrick and Edgar Davids in the centre of Tottenham’s midfield.

“I’m sad he’s gone. I didn’t want him to go; I enjoyed working with him,” said Graeme Souness, the Newcastle manager. “It was his decision; he’s joined a great club in Spurs. I was never told I had to get anyone out to get Michael in.”

Martin Jol, the Spurs manager, said: “We want young players at this club and if they are already internationals like Jermaine it is always a very good thing for us. I think he will develop into a great player.”

Late in the evening, moreover, they landed the 2m Poland striker Grzegorz Rasiak from Derby County for an undisclosed fee after failing in their attempts to buy Cristiano Lucarelli from Livorno despite increasing an earlier offer to about £3,4-million.

Other final-day dealings saw Everton sign injury-prone Dutch international midfielder Andy van der Meyde from Inter for £1,8-million and Arsenal take goalkeeper Mart Poom from Sunderland on a season-long loan, with young defender Justin Hoyte going the other way to get some playing experience.

Liverpool failed in their £14-million bid to buy Simao Sabrosa from Benfica, but allowed Senegalese midfielder Salif Diao to go to Portsmouth on loan. Out-of-contract Father Christmas lookalike Abdel Xavier, once of Everton, has joined Middlesbrough. — Â

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