Tottenham secure Etienne Capoue from Toulouse in €11m deal

• Spurs beat Cardiff City for Frenchman's signature
• André Villas-Boas adds to his midfield strength

Tottenham Hotspur have agreed an €11m deal for the holding midfielder Etienne Capoue of Toulouse subject to a medical, with the fee standing to rise to €13m on performance-related targets.

The 25-year-old, who has been capped six times by France, will encounter strong competition for a starting place in midfield from Sandro and Paulinho, the £17m summer signing from Corinthians, but he is certain that he will play a satisfactory number of games.

Sandro, who suffered a serious knee injury in January that end his season early, has not yet featured in pre-season. The club are taking no chances with his comeback programme. Sandro has trained with the first-team squad but it is unclear whether he will be ready for the opening match of the season at Crystal Palace on Sunday week. There is no inclination to rush him for fear of him picking up a muscle strain.

Capoue will provide the manager André Villas-Boas with another option and the midfielder has chosen Tottenham in preference to Cardiff City and Atlético Madrid. He has previously been followed by Arsenal and he is determined to impress at Tottenham to advance his claim for inclusion in Didier Deschamps' France squad at the World Cup finals.

Capoue is expected to be in the crowd at White Hart Lane on Saturday for Tottenham's final pre-season fixture against Espanyol. Paulinho is in line to play his first football for the club, as is the striker Roberto Soldado, who has joined from Valencia for £26m.


David Hytner

The GuardianTramp

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