The ex-Chelsea boss attempting to hijack any Tottenham Hotspur deal for Joao Moutinho

Joao Moutinho

Monaco have joined the race for the Portuguese playmaker as they look to challenge for the Ligue 1 title next season. Could they persuade with riches?

In the summer Tottenham Hotspur did some very good transfer business with the likes of Jan Vertonghen, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Hugo Lloris all arriving at the club for a reasonable price. One player they did miss out on however was Joao Moutinho of Porto.

The Portuguese international was a big transfer target of Andre Villas Boas who of course signed him from city rivals Sporting Lisbon during his tenure at The Dragao.

However problems with the asking price and third-party ownership saw Daniel Levy pull the plug on a potential deal and despite the desperate look on Jim White’s face going into the final hour of Transfer Deadline day nothing extraordinary happened and he remained in Portugal.

If you thought that debacle would have hindered his performances this season you would be wrong as some might say the 26-year-old is in fact having the best season of his career so far. His performance against Malaga in the first-leg of their Champions League tie was simply breath-taking.

With no issue over third-party ownership after Porto bought out the rights of his deal it seems this summer may be the perfect opportunity for Moutinho to try his hand in a bigger league. Tottenham may finally get their man.

Or will they?

Because according to an exclusive report from French source Le10 Moutinho is set to become the number one transfer target for French Ligue 2 side Monaco.

The club are currently managed by Claudio Ranieri and look set to return to the French top-flight next season.

But they will not be content with just a return to Ligue 1; they want to challenge for the title.

The affluent principality side have a billionaire Russian owner in the form of Dmitry Rybolovlev and he wants the team to immediately start challenging high up the league.

In recent weeks they have been linked with the likes of Younes Belhanda of Montpellier as well as Brazilian pairing Diego and Robinho; not to mention Newcastle United target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The club are currently the only team in France capable of competing with the finances of Paris Saint-Germain and this summer they will reportedly look to make a mark by spending big on quality players such as Moutinho.

Whether the playmaker fancies a move to Ligue 1 or not remains to be seen.

Who will win in the battle of ex-Chelsea managers Andre Villas Boas and Claudio Ranieri?

image: © goulao

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