AVB hopes Moutinho’s Premier League desire may weaken Porto’s resolve

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas still hopes he will be able to sign Joao Moutinho from FC Porto. As his top target, Villas-Boas believes Moutino is an ideal replacement for Luka Modric, who is due to complete a move to Real Madrid in the next few days.

Spurs are unwilling to pay the £25m asking price for the midfielder, however despite this, the Tottenham boss still believes a transfer could go ahead because of Moutinho’s desire to move to England. It is understood the 25-year-old is frequently emphasising his wish to play in the Premier League, a factor that could weaken Porto’s resolve.

The diverse midfielder is comfortable in a holding or attacking role, and often plays on each wing. He has been a regular call-up for the Portuguese international squad, with his first appearance at the age of 18, and he has gone on to accumulate 48 caps since 2005. In 2010, then-boss Villas-Boas signed Mountino for Porto from rivals Sporting CF, and went on to guide the Portuguese side to a treble, winning the Primeira Liga, Taca de Portugal and Europa League.

The alternative to Moutinho had been Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic. Yet this deal will be difficult to complete, as Roma manager Zdenek Zeman is counting strongly on Pjanic for the season ahead, while the player is only one year into a four-year contract and is happy in the Italian capital.