A double AS Monaco deal from last summer gives Manchester United hope if they miss out on the Champions League.
Ligue 1 big spenders AS Monaco secured a double deal last summer which Manchester United can only wish they had made.
With United's wing and central midfield positions two glaring areas of under-performance this season, the difference the duo would have made is likely to have been vast, particularly in the case of the experienced Moutinho.
Yet despite missing out on the duo, the deal can actually give the Red Devils hope for this coming summer with regards to future transfers.
They were two of the most-wanted players in Europe, yet along with Radamel Falcao, were tempted away for an ambitious project despite there not being Champions League football on offer.
That's the dilemma Manchester United face this summer, set currently to miss out on the top four, they have to persuade players they are a team on the way back up, rather than an irreversible slide downwards.
Monaco showed last summer that it can be done. United will have to be prepared to spend big to do so, but they showed with the signing of Juan Mata in January that it is possible.
The wages offered to Wayne Rooney in his new deal also signify that United are prepared to pay whatever is required to fight their corner, and can compete with the super-rich clubs like Monaco.
Joao Moutinho told the French press this week: "I came to win the Champions League."
Despite not being in the competition in his first season, Monaco are set to qualify for it this campaign and then the midfielder can get to realising his ambition.
If United and David Moyes can similarly persuade their signings that being out of Europe's top competition is a similarly temporary hitch, there is no reason why they cannot pull off the deals they aspire to this summer.
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