Hugo Lloris And Joao Moutinho Slip Away From Spurs

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 29: Goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris of France looks on during the International friendly match between France and Croatia at Stade de France on March 29, 2011 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Two of Tottenham Hotspur's top transfer targets appear to have slipped away from the North London club. Lyon released a statement on Thursday stating that their deal to sell Hugo Lloris to Spurs have fallen apart, while Andre Villas-Boas has labeled Joao Moutinho's rumored move to White Hart Lane as "impossible".

Spurs have been linked to Lloris for most of the summer and the club appeared to have made progress on a deal that has been estimated around £15 million, but Lyon now say that the deal is off.

"The proposals forwarded this evening by Tottenham are very different from the principle which had been agreed on August 26 and which had allowed to open the discussions between the player and the London club," Lyon said in a statement on the club's website.

That Tottenham are being difficult, cagey, disingenuous or any one of several other words in transfer negotiations would not the least bit surprising. Daniel Levy has developed a reputation as a tough negotiator that upsets a lot of clubs so something like this would not be unheard of.

Don't be so quick to peg Levy as the bad guy here, though. Just as easily as Levy could be the bad guy, Lyon could be playing their own negotiating game. Their statement makes Levy look bad and will surely annoy some fans, which could be intended by the French club to bring Levy back to the negotiating table a little bit more understanding than he was when talks broke off. As always, we don't know.

Meanwhile, the collapse of the Moutinho deal is unsurprisingly a matter of money.

"This volume of money is out of Tottenham's possibility," Villas-Boas said. "Bearing in mind that this is a key player for club and country, you wouldn't say that you would get him at half the price and half the price is already bigger than Tottenham's record fee."

Why this is coming out now is a bit puzzling. Moutinho was always going to take a club record fee to buy so this shouldn't be a surprise.

Then again, how much weight can you put in what Villas-Boas says? While the manager and chairman was said to be working closely on transfers now, Levy has worked on transfers before without any consultation with the manager besides confirming that the manager wants the player so that could be the case again.

Transfer deadline day is off! We still don't know a thing. Isn't it fun being a Spurs fan?


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