Tottenham: New contract for England man; Monaco star almost joined; stadium naming rights latest
Tottenham begin their Champions League campaign against Monaco at Wembley tonight, and Joao Moutinho admits he was minutes from joining Spurs in 2012.
The Portuguese playmaker will be part of a strong Monaco midfield tonight, but has claimed only a paperwork glitch stopped him joining Andre Villas-Boas’ Spurs in August 2012.
Spurs had agreed a £24 million deal with Porto and was in London on Deadline Day to complete a move, but the clubs failed to submit the necessary paperwork in time.
“It’s true I was a few minutes from signing for Spurs,” he said. “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.”
Moutinho is a gifted footballer, adept at relying possession and getting his side out of tight spaces, which will be crucial against Spurs’ pressing game.
Though the hosts are strong favourites for tonight’s game, the middle of the pitch is very much Monaco’s area of strength.
Moutinho will be joined in the engine room by converted full-back Fabinho and Tiemoue Bakayoko; Monaco have taken 10 points from four Ligue 1 games this season.
Elsewhere, The Times are reporting that Spurs have entered talks with a Qatari investment group over the naming rights of their new stadium.
The club have sold more than 80,000 tickets for tonight’s game at Wembley, which has strengthened their position when negotiating with potential investors.
Talks are underway with the Qatari Investment Authority, the gulf state’s sovereign wealth fund, over a multi-million-pound deal to hand them naming rights to the new ground.
It is a shame that such financial imperatives dictate club’s decision making; purists will want the ground to remain as White Hart Lane, or at least New White Hart Lane.
However, with the modern-day supporter demanding big money signings to keep pace with rivals, they cannot have their cake and eat it.
Finally, just days after it emerged Kyle Walker could be handed a new contract, fellow full-back Danny Rose could also soon put pen to paper on a new deal that would see the England man commit his long term future to the North London side.
According to ESPN, Spurs are working hard to tie down a number of key players and Rose is among those who could get a fresh deal.
Like Walker, Rose has gone from peripheral figure to first-team regular under Mauricio Pochetinno, and has established himself in the England squad, so it is an astute decision to make every effort to keep him at the club. Matching Walker on the other flank, Rose’s marauding attacking runs and high intensity defensive work are key parts in Spurs’ successful system.
Featured image: All rights reserved by Habergaraj
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