Joao Moutinho is edging ever closer to a move to the Premier League during the January transfer window, as his agent - the renown Jorge Mendes - has set about trying to engineer a deal.
According to the Daily Express the Portuguese midfielder wants out of AS Monaco due to becoming disillusioned with the departures of big-name stars such as James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao, and Mendes is now trying to devise an exit strategy.
Trouble at Monaco
Despite spending millions since the takeover of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev things at the Stade Louis II stadium have stalled of late, and they’re standing on the brink of being knocked out of the Champions League tonight virtue of Zenit St. Petersburg.
It’s believed that if Monaco lose the game, and are then subsequently booted from Europe’s elite tournament at the first hurdle, Moutinho will step up his efforts to leave, with Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal all keen to take him on.
Mendes is thought to have touched base with both Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger in order to gauge their interest in setting up a deal potentially worth £30 million in the winter transfer window. Louis van Gaal automatically has an in due to Moutinho’s relationship with the on-loan Falcao, making a Premier League switch all the more feasible.
Moutinho on the move?
Whilst Monaco will be reluctant to let go of a player they drafted in as part of their resurgence in 2013 the principality would be ready to sell him if they’re put out of the Champions League in order to bolster their finances.
With Rybolovlev no longer ready to splash freely to guarantee success it’s likely they will have to sell if they’re to buy, and as they’re losing striker Lacina Traore to the African Cup of Nations in January they have to consider replacements.
Who suits best?
As for where he’ll end up it’s anyone’s guess. Arsenal, United and Chelsea all boast the finances to be able to prise him away from Ligue 1, but they each offer different advantages.
The Gunners can offer him game-time but probably not as much in wages as their rivals, whilst at United first-team football would be readily available, as well as plenty of cash. Chelsea on the otherhand are known for their affluent spending, but the partnership of Francesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic appears to have things sewn up in the middle of the park.