Despite ultimately losing the transfer battle, Bayern Munich tried their best. Head coach Thomas Tuchel even personally called Radu Dragucin (Tottenham Hotspur) and engaged in a lengthy persuasion campaign.
On June 26 (local time), the British publication Sports Witness published an interview with Dragucin’s agent Florin Manea, who revealed the story behind the Tottenham transfer.
Manea said, “Bundesliga giants Munich made a late offer to beat Tottenham in the race for the player. Tuchel worked hard to convince Dragucin to reject Spurs.”
“We had an offer from Munich for a few days. “We asked Munich to give us one night to think about it, but I had already committed to Tottenham. But he had already committed to Tottenham.”
“Tuchel called Dragucin personally,” Manéa said. They talked for half an hour,” says Manea, “and I could hear the whole conversation. Tuchel asked Dragusin if he could also play right-back defense,” Manea emphasized. He insists that Tuchel’s efforts did not change Dragucin’s mind because he had already chosen Spurs.
Earlier, shortly after signing for Spurs, Mané said: “After I decided to go to Tottenham, I was on my way to the airport when an offer came from Munich. “It was Tottenham’s decision for Dragucin and his family,” he said, adding, “Maybe in the future Dragucin can reach Munich. “It’s a big shock for him to turn down Munich, but he will be happy to go to Tottenham.
Tottenham officially announced the signing of Dragucin on Wednesday. His contract runs until 2030. According to European soccer transfer market expert Fabrizio Romano, the transfer fee is €30 million. It is not a lump sum payment, but is made up of €25 million and an option for €5 million. Spurs also loaned right-back Jedd Spence to Genoa in exchange for Dragucin.
Tottenham’s initial offer was around €25 million, but Genoa wanted €30 million. The two sides held several rounds of negotiations, during which the price tag for Dragucin soared, with even Munich entering the fray. In the end, Tottenham accepted Genoa’s offer, and Genoa gave the player a choice. Dragucin chose Tottenham.
Tottenham focused on strengthening their defense this winter transfer window. Micky Van der Vaart was lost to a hamstring tear in early November last year, and Christian Romero is also out with a hamstring injury. Tottenham manager Anzhi Postecoglou used a makeshift starting lineup with fullbacks Ben Davies and Emerson Royal switching positions.
Tottenham had been targeting French center-back Jean-Claude Todivo (OGC Nice), but with the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea joining the race for his signature, they switched to Dragucin.
However, last season’s Serie A champions Napoli and German Bundesliga champions Munich joined the race for Dragucin, with the latter reportedly offering twice as much as Spurs. Football London’s Allardyce Gold confirmed the story, but it was Spurs who stuck to their guns early on.
Genoa CEO Andres Blasquez said of the deal: “If we had sent him to Bayern Munich, we would have gotten a few million dollars more, and his contract would have been better. But we respected his desire to play in the Premier League.”
A former Juventus youth product, Dragusin was loaned to Serie B side Genoa in the summer of 2022. He completed his move last January for €5.5 million. He scored four goals last season despite playing as a defender. Genoa finished second in the league and won promotion to the top flight. This season, Dragusin has also been a full-time starter. At 6-foot-2, he has a strong frame that has given him an advantage when it comes to one-on-one marking and attacking on set pieces. In Italy, Dragusin has been touted as the next big center back to succeed Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich), who was voted Serie A’s best defender last season.
“Dragusin played just a few minutes as a substitute in the Premier League game against Manchester United, but he could get his first start soon,” said Sports Witness.