Tottenham Hotspur re-signed Pascal Chimbonda from Premier League rivals Sunderland on Monday. Chimbonda left White Hart Lane before this season began but didn't settle with the north-east side and will now provide Spurs manager Harry Redknapp with an additional option across several defensive positions.
But the 29-year-old Frenchman will be unavailable for Tuesday's home league clash between Spurs and Stoke - two of the five Premier League clubs all level on 21 points at the foot of the table. "I've signed him and he's coming here," Redknapp said.
"The deal should have been done in the morning but it's over-run the deadline for him to play against Stoke. It was done 15 minutes too late which was disappointing. Otherwise he would have been available." Earlier Monday, Tottenham signed goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini on a free transfer from Chelsea.
The Italian will make the journey across London from the Premier League title contenders to a Spurs side struggling to avoid relegation but short of an experienced rival to the error-prone Heurelho Gomes. Cudicini, 35, had been at Stamford Bridge since 1999 and was Chelsea's first-choice goalkeeper until Petr Cech joined the west London club in 2004.
"Chelsea can confirm Carlo Cudicini has today (Monday) signed for Tottenham Hotspur on a free transfer," said a statement on Chelsea's website. "The club would like to take this opportunity to thank Carlo for his years of service and wish him well."
Cudicini, the son of a former AC Milan goalkeeper, originally joined Chelsea on a year-long loan from Castel di Sangro nearly 10 years ago and made his move permanent in 2000. His time with Chelsea saw him help the Blues win two Premier League titles, two FA Cup and two League Cups.
Tottenham are one of five clubs at the foot of the table all on 21 points. But despite seeing the side spend most of the season in or around the drop zone neither Ben Alnwick nor Cesar Sanchez (released by Spurs last week) has been able to displace Gomes, a £7 million pre-season signing from Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven.