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Why Victor Wanyama’s transfer to Club Brugge fell through

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It was a combination of things, including fear of flying and Daniel Levy.

Tottenham Hotspur Training Session Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

The European transfer window is now closed, and improbably Victor Wanyama is still a Tottenham Hotspur player. But why? It sure looked as though a deal was in place that would send him to Belgium as a member of Champions League side Club Brugge.

In fact, reporting suggested that not only had the clubs agreed on a £12m transfer (Brugge’s record transfer signing), but Wanyama had also agreed personal terms. So what happened?

Sport Witness tried to figure it out by consulting the Belgian sports media, and apparently it was all a bit confusing. The deal was delayed initially because Wanyama first wanted to consult with his family in Kenya about moving to Belgium. Once he received his family’s blessing, the club wanted to fly him to Brugge to complete the deal, but Wanyama was nervous about flying across the Channel after what happened to Emiliano Sala, and opted to take the train instead.

But then Daniel Levy got involved, and that’s when things really went off the rails. The Tottenham chairman apparently tried to get Brugge to commit to paying some funds that Tottenham still owed to Vic, which Brugge balked at. Wanyama then tried to change the conditions of his personal terms, and Brugge backed away. They ended up signing Eder Balanta from Basel instead.

The end result is that Big Vic is still a Spurs player, and that might not be all bad. While he’s probably not going to be getting a whole lot of match time this season, when he’s healthy he’s still a useful defensive midfielder, veteran player, and wrecking ball. And there don’t seem to be any indications that he’s nursing an injury heading into this season (yet).

If I had to guess I’d say that the odds are good that Vic will again be looking for a new club when the window opens in January, but for now he’s still a potentially useful tool in Mauricio Pochettino’s toolbox, especially so long as Eric Dier remains afflicted with whatever illness or injury that has glommed onto his person and kept him out of the lineup thus far.