By Greg Stobart
Tottenham have agreed a club record £22 million fee with Porto for playmaker Joao Moutinho, Goal.com understands.
The Portuguese playmaker has been identified by Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas as the preferred replacement for Luka Modric, who completed a transfer worth £33.2m to Real Madrid earlier this week.
Goal.com revealed on Thursday that the north London club were making a final push to sign Moutinho, and the midfielder’s arrival would pave the way for Rafael van der Vaart to complete a £10.3m [€13m] return to Hamburg.
|7/1||Tottenham are 7/1 with Paddy Power to be the last Premier League team to have a transfer confirmed before 11pm tonight
Tottenham do not expect to encounter any problems when discussing personal terms with Moutinho, who has expressed his desire to play in the Premier League and re-unite with former Porto boss Andre Villas-Boas.
Porto had previously asked for £30m for the 25-year-old but dropped their asking price as the transfer window draws to a close, with their other star player, Hulk, now likely to stay at the Estadio do Dragao.
Villas-Boas claimed as recently as Thursday that Moutinho would be too expensive but chairman Daniel Levy has backed him with a deal that would break the club’s transfer record, currently £16.5m paid for Modric in 2008.
Spurs have chased Moutinho all summer to become the creative fulcrum of the side and, if he completes a switch, he will join new signing Mousa Dembele in the Spurs midfield as Villas-Boas makes his mark on the squad.
Moutinho’s arrival became increasingly likely once Spurs allowed Van der Vaart to travel to Hamburg for a medical, with the clubs close to reaching an agreement, thought to be in the region of £10m, for his departure from White Hart Lane.