As with any international tournament, a raft of players impressed at Euro 2012 and are now subject to transfer attention. One such man is Portugal’s Joao Moutinho, who starred in the Iberian nation’s progression to the semi-finals in Ukraine and Poland. Both Manchester United and Tottenham have been credited with an interest, with a wrangle for the playmaker’s signature looking likely this summer.
Why United need Moutinho
Sir Alex Ferguson has been in the market for a new innovative midfield general for a number of years now as a potential long-term replacement for the evergreen Paul Scholes. Despite the veteran agreeing to play for another year, surely now must be the time to sign his successor whilst Scholes is still present.
With Luka Modric too expensive, Lucas Moura too raw and interest in Wesley Sneijder cooled off, Moutinho looks like an excellent option. The Porto man will have been on most big European clubs’ radars for some time, but his quality was certainly evident and reconfirmed this summer. The ex-Sporting Lisbon man showed a tenacity and work-rate for his country that will have appealed to Red Devils fans, whilst also more often than not being the creator for Cristiano Ronaldo’s chances and goals.
At 25-years-old Moutinho is ready for the step up, and a gradual introduction to the United first-team with Scholes in attendance to guide him seems sensible.
Why Tottenham need Moutinho
It will certainly be a busy summer for Tottenham, with new faces and player sales expected. The exit of Harry Redknapp has led to Andre Villas Boas’ appointment, and Icelandic attacking midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson has been added to the squad already also.
However, this summer may finally be the time that Spurs fans have to say goodbye to main man Luka Modric. With the north London outfit missing out on Champions League football for a second consecutive season the Croatian star looks likely to leave, with Real Madrid ready to pounce.
Modric’s exit would leave a sizeable creative hole in the centre of the park, with Moutinho the perfect player to fill it. The Portuguese midfielder’s qualities and stature are similar to that of the man he would be replacing, even if Modric does have a slight creative edge. However, if Villas Boas can convince his former Porto charge to swap the Estadio do Dragao for White Hart Lane, the blow of Modric’s departure would certainly be lessened.
At a more affordable price than equivalent players on the market, Sir Alex taking an interest and the Villas Boas link, the battle for Moutinho’s signature this summer could be an interesting one.