Last summer Tottenham Hotspur undoubtedly had one main transfer target; FC Porto midfielder Joao Moutinho.
The Portuguese international had previously worked with Andre Villas-Boas at the club and was continually linked with a move to White Hart Lane.
However the deal fell through because of several complications. The first most obvious obstacle was his involvement with a third party. Considering the gloomy outlook that the Premier League takes toward this type of player ownership it was always a risky deal.
Fortunately for Spurs this is no longer an issue. Porto bought out the remaining percentage of his rights in January as it became clearer and clearer that their star man wanted a move away from the club when possible.
So that is one potential snag out of the way.
The other was his massive price-tag with Porto not willing to do any negotiation until the price reached an eye-watering €30 million minimum. Porto rarely let their players leave on the cheap and Daniel Levy is not a chairman who enjoys protracted and extortionate transfer negotiations.
But according to Portuguse publication Desporto that is about to change. They lead with the headline ‘Moutinho will play at Tottenham next season’.
They believe to have a source very close to the deal but while the headline was understandably exciting on Friday what has become clear since is that plenty of other factors must fall into place before the move can occur.
Firstly Tottenham would do well to qualify for the Champions League in order to lure him to White Hart Lane.
But the most alarming news is that no deal could go ahead without the sale of Gareth Bale due to the financial restrictions in place at Spurs.
Bale has been strongly linked with a move to Real Madrid and Manchester United in recent weeks for massive sums of money and Desporto believe without that influx Moutinho will be out of their price-range.
Considering the mounting interest from French football’s mega-rich clubs Paris Saint-Germain and AS Monaco; the North London club certainly run the risk of being blown out of the water financially in this pursuit.
But if keeping Bale means not getting Moutinho then the decision is simple; keep Bale.
What do you make of the report?
image: © James Boyes