Inter have finally completed the signing of Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen.
The 27-year-old went to Italy on Monday for a doctor and agreed on a four and a half year contract.
His move to £ 17 million puts an end to a brilliant six and a half year career at Spurs, where he was one of the driving forces behind their rise to the top of the English game under Mauricio Pochettino.
Spurs will see it as a good deal, having gotten a considerable share for a player whose contract would have expired in the summer and would have started for free.
Tottenham was unwilling to allow Eriksen’s departure to be the main story of the day, as the club simultaneously announced that it had activated the option to turn the Lo Lo Celso loan into a permanent deal.
The Argentine, seen as a natural replacement for Eriksen, has joined Real Betis for £ 27.2 million with an agreement until 2025.
A Spurs statement reads: “We are pleased to announce that we have exercised the option of converting the Lo Lo Celso loan from Real Betis Balompie into a permanent transfer.
“The midfielder produced impressive performances after establishing himself in the team following a hip injury that limited his playing time in the first part of his loan to the club.”
Spurs would have had to pay £ 34 million to make the Lo Celso deal permanent in the summer, which was mandatory if they had made it into the top four.
After a slow start to life in North London, the 23-year-old has shown glimpses of his potential in the past few weeks.
On Saturday, after his role in the 1-1 FA draw of the Spurs Cup in Southampton, boss Jose Mourinho said that his form did not give Spurs “no choice but to run the option.”
There was less fanfare around the departure of Eriksen, who leaves having scored 69 goals and provided 89 assists in 305 appearances.
“The club can also confirm Christian Eriksen’s departure after an agreement has been reached with FC Internazionale Milano for the international transfer of Denmark,” they added.
“We wish Christian good for the future.”
Eriksen’s move to Milan completes a saga that has been going on since he declared his intention to leave Spurs last June, citing his desire for a new challenge after last season’s Champions League final defeat.
He declined the opportunity to join Manchester United and remained unsold in the summer transfer window.
His form this season has consequently been the shadow of what Real Madrid and Barcelona once wished for his signing – and the team’s results also suffered.
The new boss Mourinho was informed not long after his November appointment by the Danish international that he would not sign a new contract and that he wanted to leave this month.
Mourinho continued to play him, much to the irritation of fans who believed that his desire to move was influencing his commitment.
Inter offered him a way out, more than doubling his salaries, but the behavior of the Italian club this month made Mourinho angry.
The Portuguese complained when Inter director Antonio Conte spoke publicly about Eriksen and was also annoyed that the deal was dragged out the last part of the window.
Despite the unpleasant end to his Spurs career, the Dane will be remembered as one of their greatest players in the Premier League era.
Combining with the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Son Heung-min, he was at the forefront of Spurs’ growth under Pochettino, although he will be disappointed if he goes north to London without winning silverware.
His departure means that only Erik Lamela remains of the “Magnificent Seven” – the players Andre Villa-Boas bought in 2013 with the money received for Gareth Bale.
It could only wait a few months for silverware in Italy while Inter, who also signed Ashley Young and Victor Moses this month, is in the running for the Serie A title, three points behind Juventus.
Spurs are expected to do more business after agreeing a £ 25 million deal for PSV Eindhoven winger Steven Bergwijn.
Bergwijn missed the PSV game with FC Twente on Thursday to travel to London, where he will undergo medical treatment and discuss personal terms.
Their search for the Dutch national team, which is expected to go to Euro 2020, will not discourage the desire to bring an attacker before the end of the window.