Tottenham clinch Fernandes 18-month loan from Benfica with option to buy

Tottenham have made their first move in the January transfer window by signing Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes.

The 21-year-old has signed on an 18-month loan deal which has the option to become permanent for a reported £56million.

Fernandes becomes the club’s first signing of the Jose Mourinho era and will provide vital cover in the middle of the park following a three-month lay-off for Moussa Sissoko, who has had knee surgery.

A club statement read: “We are delighted to announce that we have reached agreement for the 18-month loan of Gedson Fernandes from Benfica with an option to make the transfer permanent.

“The midfielder will wear the number 30 shirt for the remainder of this season.”

Mourinho will be hoping that more arrivals may follow, particularly a striker following Harry Kane’s potentially season-ending hamstring injury.

The club are understood to be interested in AC Milan’s Krzysztof Piatek while Christian Benteke, Edison Cavani and even former striker Fernando Llorente have been linked.

Mourinho said last week that his side will never be “kings of the market” and that this January will be a window of opportunity.

Fernandes was offered to them by Mourinho’s friend and super agent Jorges Mendes and they beat off competition from West Ham, who were keen on being the ones to bring him to London.

Aged only 21, it will be viewed as more of a signing for the future, but the Portuguese will at least add extra bodies to a squad which has been hit by injuries.

Fernandes has won two caps for Portugal and is a box-to-box midfielder in the ilk of Sissoko.

His parents live in the Tottenham area and he was recently spotted at his new club’s home game with Chelsea before Christmas.

There could also be outgoings at Spurs this month, with Kyle Walker-Peters hoping to join Crystal Palace on loan while the club are trying to offload Christian Eriksen this month in order to get a fee for him.

The Denmark international is out of contract in the summer and can leave on a free, having told Spurs he will not be agreeing a fresh deal.

A move to Inter Milan appears likely after reports from Italy suggest he has agreed terms and Mourinho said after the midfielder played 90 minutes in Tuesday night’s FA Cup replay win over Middlesbrough that he should leave with his head held high.

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