Man Utd and Spurs frustrated as Monaco go big in transfer market

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It is no real surprise that Porto are embarking on their annual selling spree this summer, but it is a slight revelation that the business is being done so early and involves leading transfer targets of Tottenham and Manchester United.

Selling big names has become frequent at Porto dating back to the days when Jose Mourinho took a handful of his Champions League winners with him to Chelsea.

In the last three years alone, Porto have seen the likes of Lucho Gonzalez, Lisandro Lopez, Aly Cissokho, Bruno Alves, Raul Meireles, Hulk and Falcao all leave for in excess of £10m.

This summer was expected to be no different in terms of transfer targets, with Joao Moutinho, James Rodriguez and Jackson Martinez all linked with a host of top European clubs.

However, it is French moneybags Monaco that have struck first in any such dealings in what is expected to be the first of many acquisitions in a summer of hefty spending.

Sky Italia are reporting that Monaco have had a €70m offer accepted for both Moutinho and Rodriguez, who have both been linked with Premier League moves in the past 12 months.

Moutinho was apparently only a whisker away from joining Tottenham in January as a transfer fee couldn’t be agreed with Porto and the Londoners still require a midfield schemer in the mould of Luka Modric to step up to the next level.

The Portuguese midfielder was earmarked for that exact role, but Andre Villas-Boas will now have to turn his attentions elsewhere, with Miralem Pjanic of Roma one possible candidate.

Meanwhile, the wide positions are one area that Man Utd could do with strengthening, despite the upcoming arrival of Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace.

The performances of Ashley Young, Nani and Antonio Valencia were fair at best this season and as a result Sir Alex Ferguson often opted for a diamond shape in midfield or employed Danny Welbeck in a wider role.

The trio only contributed two Premier League goals between them from 48 starts and Rodriguez looked the ideal signing to be a bigger influence, based on reaching double figures for goals and assists this season.

Previous reports also indicated that Monaco had reached a deal with Falcao to reunite him with his former Porto comrades as they look to challenge fellow big spenders PSG for the French title next season.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.