Defender Ryan Nelsen, who launched his professional career at D.C. United 11 years ago and has excelled in the English Premier League, will join Tottenham Hotspur from Blackburn Rovers, his club for the past seven seasons.
Lyle Yorks, Nelsen’s Washington-based agent from James Grant Sports, confirmed the move to the Insider on Tuesday evening.
“We settled with Blackburn and have reached agreement with Spurs,” Yorks said from England. ”We’re just awaiting clearance. It’s for six months, with a one-year option. It all unfolded quickly. [Spurs Manager] Harry Redknapp has always been a big fan of Ryan. When the opportunity came up, it really played itself out today” before the transfer deadline hit.
Nelsen, 34, anchored United’s backline during its 2004 MLS Cup campaign, then moved to Blackburn in January 2005. He has made more than 170 appearances for Rovers and captained New Zealand at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
This season in England, he has been limited to one league appearance because of a knee injury but played in an exhibition Tuesday. Blackburn is in the relegation zone with a 4-12-6 record. Tottenham is in third place at 15-4-4 with 49 points, five behind Manchester United and Manchester City. For the first time in his career, Nelsen has a prime opportunity to play in the UEFA Champions League.
At Spurs, Nelsen will join former U.S. World Cup goalkeeper Brad Friedel.
Meantime, American forward Charlie Davies, who was on loan with D.C. United last season before returning to Sochaux this month, will remain with the French club for the second half of the season and attempt to earn playing time, Yorks said.