Joao Moutinho has been the apple of Tottenham Hotspur's eye all summer. The player was linked to Spurs as a replacement for Luka Modric before Andre Villas-Boas was even hired. Then once Villas-Boas got the job the deal seemed like a certainty. Spurs couldn't pass on signing the midfielder that they already admired now that they had hired his former manager, right?
Well, apparently Spurs can because he has not been signed yet. As lovely a player as Moutinho is, he is also a very expensive one. Porto are back in the Champions League so they have plenty of cash and don't need to sell him. That Tottenham were desperate for a midfielder and still fancy one after signing Moussa Dembele doesn't help their chances of getting a lower price either. Porto know that they have the upper hand.
With Porto since: 2010
Claim to fame: Starred in Porto's midfield two years ago when Villas-Boas managed Porto won the league, Portuguese Cup and Europa League to claim the treble. Also of note, he scored Sporting's only goal back in 2009 when they were stomped in the Champions League round of 16 by Bayern Munich, 12-1 on aggregate.
Likelihood he's purchased: Let's call it a 30% chance. He is expensive and would surely be Spurs' record signing if he is bought and £15 million has already been spent on Moussa Dembele, but the club and Villas-Boas are admirers so they might just bite the bullet.
What's his role if purchased?: He would be an unquestioned starter in the center of the midfield and provide the link up play that the team has lacked without Modric. He would also free up Dembele to play more advanced or out on the wing, enabling Villas-Boas to play the 4-3-3 that he favors.
If we buy him, we probably pay: £23m.
All deadline primer articles (updated as they roll in)
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