He’s a player that’s been linked with a number of Premier League clubs across Europe the last few years, but now it may be that Joao Moutinho will be moving to England this summer. The Porto playmaker appears to be keen to take his chance of a big move and seems likely to quit the Portuguese club, but the English clubs may have a rival from across the channel.
PSG, with a bank account bulging with the petro-dollars of their owners, have been linked with Moutinho for some time, and if it comes to a bidding war, both with regard to wages and transfer fee, the chances of the French champions being outbid, are pretty remote if they really want the player. That however may be the key to their involvement in any deal. Potentially, Moutinho is the sort of player that can open defences, but is yet to be tested at the very highest level of European football on a prolonged basis. PSG are very much living ‘in the now’ and it may be that their main targets lie elsewhere with the interest in Moutinho being perhaps only just a little more than fleeting. The same may not be true for the two English clubs.
Everton have been long time admirers of the playmaker and if they could acquire him, it’s highly likely that he would improve the Goodison Park squad by adding a creative dimension, perhaps only spasmodically offered by the current players such as Gibson, Osman and Pienaar. The problem, as ever for Everton however may be in persuading Moutinho to join them, if there appears to be better – and more lucrative – offers from other clubs. Don’t discount the persuasive power of David Moyes however, Moutinho could be a Toffee next season.
In north London however, Spurs may have a trump card to play if they wish to secure the signing. Manager Andre Villas-Boas is well-known to Moutinho, and his brief, but successful, time as manager of Porto will doubtless have made a mark on the player. With the lure of Champions’ League football so important to players considering moves these days, if Spurs manage to secure that top four position, their hand swill be even stronger. Since the departure of Croatian Luca Modric, a player to fill that creative position has been a glaring omission in the Spurs squad. Whilst Dembele has on occasions looked a credible successor, he remains to fully convince and Gylfi Sigurdsson has probably not lived up to the hype that preceded his move.
Whilst of course there’s plenty of time for other clubs to join the chase for Moutinho should he become available this summer, should Spurs wish to pursue him, there’s a more than fair chance that next season will seem him plying his trade in the capital.