Nelsen waits on visa for Spurs move
Thu, 02 Feb 2012 10:27a.m.
A change to his work visa appears the only thing standing in the way of All Whites skipper Ryan Nelsen moving to English Premier League soccer heavyweights Tottenham Hotspur.
The 34-year-old is set to join the London club from strugglers Blackburn Rovers after manager Harry Redknapp told media of the deal on Wednesday (NZT).
Nelsen, who has been sidelined for most of the season with a knee injury, told The Press newspaper the deal was waiting on paperwork from Britain's Home Office.
"It's not 100 per cent yet, I've just got a visa [change] to get over the line, but it's pretty much done," he said.
The central defender joined Blackburn, currently sitting in the relegation zone, from US Major League Soccer side DC United in 2005 and was later appointed club captain.
He said he was relishing the prospect of joining high-flying Spurs who are lying third in the league and in contention for a Champions League spot.
"It's just an exciting opportunity at this stage of my career. I've loved my time at Blackburn, but it's something I just couldn't turn down."
Nelsen was released from his Blackburn contract making him a free agent and able to move to another club outside the transfer window which closed at 11pm on Tuesday in England.
He had played a reserve game this week and said he was happy with his knee but was still short of match fitness.
His agent Lyle Yorks told the Washington Post the deal was for six months with an option for further year.
Redknapp told reporters he had long admired Nelsen, who captained the All Whites during their unbeaten run at the 2010 World Cup and played over 170 games for Blackburn, and was happy to have him at White Hart Lane.
"I think he's a great competitor and a good sort to have at your club," Redknapp said. "I have always liked him."
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