November 30, 2022

How Monaco star Joao Moutinho was just minutes away from a £24million deadline day move to Spurs

September 14, 2016

The Portugal midfielder flew to London but the deal collapsed when crucial paperwork was submitted too late.

Monaco star Joao Moutinho has revealed how we was just minutes away from signing for Champions League opponents Spurs.

The Portugal midfielder agreed to join Tottenham when Andre Villas-Boas was in charge.

He flew to London on deadline day in August 2012 and his £24million move from Porto was about to go through – only for the paperwork to be submitted late.

He returned to Portugal for another season but then signed for Monaco.

Speaking before tonight’s Champions League game, the 30-year-old said: “It’s true I was a few minutes from signing for Spurs.

“Here I am at Monaco and the focus is on putting in a performance to help us through to the next stage of the Champions League.

“Spurs might be slight favourites but this is a very equal group. Every team will fancy their chances to qualify and everyone wants to get through.”

Spurs may have beaten Monaco 4-1 at White Hart Lane in the Europa League last season, but the diminutive Moutinho – who stands at just 5ft 7in – insists that means nothing tonight.

Earlier this week the Portuguese said Monaco will thrive on the Wembley experience and even tipped his side to deal with it better than Spurs.

And he explained: “Each team has developed since then. It’s a different competition, a bigger competition, with different players.

“Both sides are good sides and we have to be focused and concentrate if we want to come away with something.”

On the eve of the game Spurs released another 1,200 tickets for their first ever ‘home’ game at Wembley.

It almost guarantees a crowd of more than 85,000, which would be the biggest ever to watch a club match in England, excluding cup finals and semi-finals.

Manchester City hold the current record of 84,467 for an FA Cup sixth round tie against Stoke – in March 1934.

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