Tottenham Eyeing Ukrainian Star As Cheaper Alternative To Joao Moutinho

Spurs keen on Moutinho alternative.

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Tottenham Hotspur are planning a swoop for Dynamo Kiev’s Ukrainian international midfielder Denys Harmash, according to reports in Russia.

Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas watched Harmash play a key role in Ukraine’s 1-1 draw against England at Wembley earlier this month, and is said to see the 22-year-old as a cheaper alternative to previous midfield target Joao Moutinho.

“I watched England’s match against Ukraine at Wembley with Villas-Boas,” football agent Sandor Varga told Russian newspaper Izvestiya this week. “He was very impressed with Denys Harmash.

“Tottenham are looking for a central midfielder, but couldn’t reach agreement with Villas-Boas’ favoured candidate, his compatriate Joao Moutinho.

“Harmash represents a brilliant alternative to the Porto midfielder,” Varga added.

The Dynamo Kiev player has eight caps for his country, and impressed at Wembley alongside his more experienced counterpart Anatoly Tymoshchuk at the heart of Ukraine’s midfield.

And with the player valued at around £4.5million, Harmash would represent a considerable cost saving on Moutinho, who Spurs failed to land in the summer despite bidding £20million plus add-ons for the Portuguese.

SOURCE: ITV Football

Judging from the above, Tottenham head-coach Andre Villas-Boas is not hopeful of landing top target Joao Moutinho in January. Spurs had a deadline day bid for the 25-year-old playmaker accepted but failed to complete the deal before the 11pm cut-off, with rumours that either Porto or Spurs chairman Daniel Levy had tried to move the goalposts at the last minute.

It is thought that Villas-Boas regards the signing of a pass-master as essential for his preferred 4-3-3 formation, despite the arrivals of Moussa Dembele and Gylfi Sigurdsson at the club this summer.

Spurs had been rumoured to be preparing a fresh bid for Moutinho in January, but top European clubs are notoriously reluctant to part with their stars mid-season and Porto’s chairman is a tough nut to crack at the best of times.

If Villas-Boas and Levy feel the deal is impossible, the club may turn to Ukrainian Harmash. The Dynamo Kiev youngster impressed for Oleg Blokhin’s men in their 1-1 draw with England at Wembley and if, as the source suggests, he will cost just £4.5m, then thrifty Levy in particular will be keen to conclude a deal.

While the source suggests Villas-Boas was impressed with Harmash, the 34-year-old tactician will surely be disappointed to miss out on Moutinho.

There is an emerging pattern at White Hart Lane of Levy ignoring his manager’s top targets and plumping for bargains instead. Rumours that the club wish to appoint former England assistant manager Franco Baldini as a sporting director also suggest that Villas-Boas will have a reduced say in transfer policy.

Whether or not Spurs do return for Moutinho could be telling as to the future of Levy and Villas-Boas’ relationship and Spurs’ future transfer plans.

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