£25m Tottenham and Manchester United target among 'Flops of the Season' in France

Joao Moutinho Portugal

Joao Moutinho singled out for disappointing campaign with Monaco.

Joao Moutinho was seen as a perfect midfield candidate for both Tottenham and Manchester United, only to sign with Monaco instead.

The big spending side convinced the midfielder to come aboard, confident they would qualify for Champions League football in their first season back in Ligue 1.

That proved true, Monaco finishing second in the division, and expecting to strengthen further this coming summer.

Yet for Moutinho it has not been a spectacular year individually, and he has been singled out for criticism in France's biggest newspaper.

L'Equipe ran their 'Flops of the Season' article yesterday, with Moutinho a big name entrant on the list.

They write: "Presented as a star and raising many expectations on his arrival at Monaco, the Portuguese international midfielder has ultimately been fairly quiet in games. The former Porto player was especially disappointing in his ability to be decisive (1 goal and 6 assists)."

Statisticians Opta contest those figures, crediting the midfielder via whoscored.com with eight assists, second in the Monaco squad only to James Rodriguez (12).

The 27-year-old has never had a particularly high goal return, netting five for Porto the previous season, and three and two the preceding seasons.

Tottenham came close to signing the midfielder in August 2012 prior to the deadline, only to be restricted by third party complications.

Manchester United also were linked with him, and despite the criticism of his performances, his assists for Monaco rack up better figures than any central midfielder among the Red Devils this season.

Despite the criticism, Moutinho would certainly make both sides stronger, and if Monaco did decide to move him on for a new big name addition there would be no shortage of takers.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch