Tottenham have beaten Liverpool to the signing of Hoffenheim midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, who had a spell on loan at Swansea last season.
The 22-year-old Iceland international is the first recruit for new Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas in a deal reported to be worth £8m.
linked with a move
to join former Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool.
He scored seven times in 19 games on loan under Rodgers at Swansea.
Iceland manager Lars Lagerback told BBC World Service that Spurs had brought in a player with many attributes.
"He understands the game. He's good with both feet. He's not a physical player or the best tackler, but he is very fit - I've met few so skilful players who can run so much for 90 minutes. You shouldn't underestimate him when it comes to the defensive part of the game."
"He's a fantastic team player. He reads the game very well and I don't think you would find too many better link players," he told the
Sigurdsson was close to joining Swansea on a permanent basis before Rodgers left for Anfield, and his £6.8m transfer to the Liberty Stadium collapsed.
Michael Laudrup, who succeeded Rodgers at Swansea, conceded defeat last month in his efforts to resurrect a deal.
The move to Tottenham comes as speculation continues over the future of Spurs midfielder Luka Modric, who has been
linked with a transfer to Manchester United
or Real Madrid.
Sigurdsson originally moved to England in October 2005 when he joined Reading's academy.
Gylfi Sigurdsson factfile
9 September 1989 in Reykjavík
- Former clubs:
Reading, Shrewsbury Town (loan), Crewe Alexandra (loan), 1899 Hoffenheim, Swansea City (loan)
- Total club matches:
He spent loan spells at Shrewsbury and Crewe before securing a regular place in the first team in the 2009-10 season when Rodgers managed the Royals.
Sigurdsson won the player of the year award in his first full season at Reading, before being sold to Hoffenheim for a reported £6.5m fee at the start of the following campaign.
He joined Swansea on loan in January and won the Premier League player of the month award for March.