Tottenham Hotspur are rumored to be moving closer to a deal with Joao Moutinho after new manager Andre Villas-Boas admitted he is interested in signing the Porto midfielder over the summer transfer window.
Spurs are desperately trying to add some new talent into their midfield—especially with a move by Croatian star Luka Modric seemingly inevitable. When he does go, Tottenham's midfield will not be completely bereft of ideas and creativity, but they will have lost their star and go-to player.
He was crucial to the club last season, and with his fine showing at the recent 2012 European Championships, could have had a huge impact on the English Premier League next season.
However, for the right price, he will leave Tottenham. Villas-Boas conceded that a move is going to happen during the transfer window, according to Talksport.
"Luka Modric is a player of tremendous importance for this football club. The interest that he’s had from various different clubs shows his importance.
"It’s fair to say we respect Luka’s ambitions and his willing to move on and he respects the fact that he’s an important player for the club. Ongoing discussions with various clubs will continue until we reach an agreement which is sensible for each party.
"A player of this importance is not easy to part company with. The chairman is a person who respects the values of the football club and only with the right offer will we take that step."
Any deal regarding the sale of Modric is likely to bring in anywhere between £30 and £40 million for Tottenham, who have already signaled their intent to spend the money required to bring in high-quality players to White Hart Lane.
They have already signed Gylfi Sigurdsson from Hoffenheim, Jan Vertonghen from Ajax and penned a new four-year deal with Gareth Bale, but the North London club are not content and know that they need at least another midfielder in their squad.
That's where Joao Moutinho comes in.
The Porto midfielder is believed to be one of Spurs' key transfer targets—particularly given his pre-existing relationship with Villas-Boas. The two worked together when Villas-Boas was the manager at Porto and they won the league, the Portuguese Cup and Europa League during their time together.
Villas-Boas is confident that the Porto midfielder could shine once more at Tottenham and stated that his impressive performances at Euro 2012 have done no harm for a potential move to White Hart Lane, according to Talksport.
"He [Moutinho] was one of the most important players at Euro 2012. He had a fantastic tournament. He was an important player for Porto in the two seasons in a row when they won the title.
"Those sort of players will always be interesting to us. It doesn’t mean it’s the only target we’re looking at, but if something happened then of course we would look upon him with some interest."
The big question then becomes whether or not Moutinho can replace Modric and if he can provide the same go-forward and creativity that the Croatian brings to the club.
Both are incredibly classy players that can open up a defense with seemingly endless time and opportunities. Both midfielders would no doubt help Spurs in their quest to qualify once again for the UEFA Champions League and be considered a genuine threat in the English Premier League.
And although Moutinho has no Premier League experience, you'd have to think he can fill Modric's incredibly big shoes.
The 25-year-old Porto star has over 350 appearances for Sporting Lisbon and Porto, and given his relationship with Villas-Boas, can be nurtured into the latest star to grace the pitch at White Hart Lane.
He will not be alone—he will have the likes of Vertonghen in defense, Bale in midfield and Sigurdsson in attack—as well as the possible addition of Emmanuel Adebayor or Leandro Damiao.
Moutinho will never be Modric, but he can have the same success at Tottenham that the Croatian star had.
And with the fresh talent and management around him, he might even be able to go one better that his predecessor.
Can Joao Moutinho replace Luka Modric at Tottenham?
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