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Napoli president reveals failed move for Tottenham Hotspur's Radu Dragusin

Napoli president reveals failed move for Tottenham's Radu Dragusin
© Tottenham Hotspur FC
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis confirms that his side tried and failed to hijack Tottenham Hotspur's January move for Romanian defender Radu Dragusin.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has confirmed that the Italian champions tried and failed to hijack Tottenham Hotspur's move for Radu Dragusin last month.

The Romania international was hot property in the January transfer window after rising to prominence with Genoa, scoring two goals in his first 19 Serie A appearances of the new term.

Tottenham and Bayern Munich were engaging in a heated tussle for Dragusin's signature, but the 22-year-old ultimately decided to advance his career in North London, as Spurs agreed an initial £21.4m deal with Genoa.

Dragusin signed a long-term contract with Tottenham until the summer of 2030, and both he and his agent have revealed that he rejected the chance to move to Bayern in order to link up with Ange Postecoglou's side.

Despite interest from Napoli and AC Milan, Dragusin also turned down the opportunity to remain in Serie A, and the president of the Partenopei opened up on his side's pursuit to Area Napoli.

Radu Dragusin celebrates scoring for Genoa in December 2023© Reuters

As quoted by the Evening Standard, De Laurentiis claimed that Napoli offered Dragusin a better financial package than both Bayern and Tottenham, but the Romania international had his heart set on moving to North London.

"I had offered him more than anyone: no one had given him the figures that we would have guaranteed him," De Laurentiis professed. "Genoa replied to me: 'Bayern Munich are also there, but the boy really wants England'.

"It wasn't a question of money, because it doesn't always go like this when you try to sign a footballer. If they tell you that the talent you want to hire is seen elsewhere, aspires to certain leagues, you can't help but stop. We did our bit, but his choice was different."

Dragusin was one of three new faces to join Tottenham in the January transfer window, as Timo Werner arrived on loan from RB Leipzig, while Swedish midfielder Lucas Bergvall snubbed Barcelona to sign for the Lilywhites, although he will not officially join from Djurgardens IF until the summer.

The former Juventus academy product has already made three Premier League appearances for Tottenham, coming off the bench in successive matches against Brentford, Manchester United and Everton, but he is still waiting for his first start.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Ange Postecoglou pictured on January 26, 2024© Reuters

Spurs head coach Postecoglou quickly settled on Cristian Romero and summer signing Micky van de Ven as his first-choice central pairing, although injuries and suspensions limited their game time over the festive period.

Postecoglou had Eric Dier available as an emergency option, but full-backs Ben Davies and Emerson Royal were often preferred in front of Guglielmo Vicario, leading Dier to seek an exit from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

After Bayern failed in their efforts to beat Spurs to Dragusin's signature, the German champions poached Dier on loan until the end of the season, at which point his contract with Tottenham will expire.

Dier is expected to officially his time at Tottenham when his deal runs out, and Bayern possess the option to keep the Englishman on the books for an additional 12 months.

The 30-year-old has also made three appearances for his new club, starting each of their last two Bundesliga victories over Augsburg and Borussia Monchengladbach.

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