Mouts eyeing Barca.
Tottenham’s long-term pursuit of Joao Moutinho could end up in disappointment, with the Porto star apparently keen on moving to Barcelona.
Andre Villas-Boas wanted to be reunited with the Portugal international in the summer, having worked with him at Porto.
The Portuguese club had agreed to sell Moutinho to Spurs but the move broke down in the final hours of the transfer window.
A combination of fee disagreements and a failure to sort out personal terms meant the move could not be finalised ahead of the 11pm deadline.
Villas-Boas is understood to be eager to revisit the situation in January – although he now faces stern competition.
Big spending Russians Zenit St Petersburg want Moutinho as well, while Barcelona are watching developments closely.
And the 26-year-old’s agent Pini Zahavi says his client would be open to a switch to the Nou Camp.
“I will not hide that there is interest from Zenit and we will review their proposal in January. Zenit is a very strong team, who may be the next step in Joao’s career,” Zahavi told Record.
“However, we have to take into account the interest of Joao. Any footballer would like to play for Barcelona and that option is a priority for us. In my opinion, his style of play fits perfectly with Barcelona. Additionally, he is a fan of the club.”
Spurs could be set to miss out on pass-master Joao Moutinho after the player’s (super-) agent Pini Zahavi admitted that his client had his heart set on a move to Barcelona.
Andre Villas-Boas made the signing of Moutinho a top priority this summer and Spurs had a deadline bid of around £25m accepted by Porto, only for the deal to fall through at the eleventh hour.
Although it is thought that Spurs will return with a fresh bid for Moutinho in January, it’s questionable whether the North Londoners need the 25-year-old.
Tottenham won at Old Trafford for the first time in 23 years at the weekend, thanks in no small part to a scintillating first half display from Moussa Dembele and Sandro, who overran United’s ageing midfield.
Although Spurs were pegged back in the second half, there was evidence that the forceful partnership of the Belgian and the Brazilian could be mightily effective this season and it’s hard to see where Moutinho, who rarely scores goals, would fit in.
That said, the Portuguese is a world-class player, who would improve most teams (though perhaps not Barca), so Villas-Boas will still be keeping an eye on the situation, even if his chairman Daniel Levy might prove tough to persuade again.
Either way, Porto are a notoriously difficult club to deal with and will be reluctant to lose their star man in January, unless Zenit – who have already prized Hulk and Steven Defour from Portugal – come calling with silly money.
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