David Moyes looks set to become the next Manchester United manager and in doing so will inherit what he so long deserved but never got his hands on at Everton; money to spend.
The pursestrings at Goodison Park were only occasionally loosened so the fact he managed to conjure up a team that could wrestle with the best on his far more modest budget is a true testament to his skill. But now he will be backed financially by one of, if not the, richest clubs in the world.
So could he return to some of the ones that got away?
Most of them are probably not Manchester United quality but one of them is; and anyone who is anyone in football knows just how big an admirer Moyes is of the man in question.
In the summer of 2008 there was little doubt who Everton FC had earmarked as their number one transfer target; and it was the same fella that Tottenham Hotspur earmarked as theirs last summer; Joao Moutinho of FC Porto.
When Everton took an interest in the talented midfield maestro from Portugal he was playing for Sporting Lisbon and an initial offer of £11.8 million was rejected; but that did not deter Bill Kenwright. The Everton chairman had this to say after that original bid:
“He is one of the manager’s major targets. David said last week in America, ‘I am only going to bring in players who will take the club forward’, and that is how he is.’’
However Everton never mustered the funds to sign the player and in 2010 he signed for Porto; where under Andre Villas-Boas he developed into one of Europe’s finest central midfield talents. Spurs tried in vain last summer to bring him in but could not agree a fee with the Portuguese outfit and in the end nothing was completed.
Moutinho has now made it clear he wants an exit this summer and the vultures are likely circling with Spurs all set to lead the race.But you can bet Moyes’ interest will not have abated for the now 26-year-old; who has been earmarked in the past as a potential long-term replacement for Paul Scholes.
With the resources and lure of Manchester United looking like being behind him next season there is little doubt that Moyes will be returning to this player. While Tottenham would have expected to beat off competition from Everton a struggle with United is likely to have just one result.
Tottenham would have to find themselves a new target.
image: © goulao