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Moutinho was 'minutes' away from Spurs move

Monaco midfielder Joao Moutinho revealed he was "minutes" away from signing with Tottenham from Porto.

The Portugal international was set to link up with compatriot Andre Villas-Boas at White Hart Lane, a move heavily expected in August 2012.

However, Moutinho stayed at Porto – and less than a year later he joined Monaco in a deal reportedly worth €25 million.

And ahead of facing Spurs in the Champions League on Wednesday, the 30-year-old said he was close to joining the club.

"It’s true, I was a few minutes from signing for Spurs," Moutinho told reporters.

"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 [which includes Bayer Leverkusen and CSKA Moscow].

"Every team will fancy their chances to qualify and everyone wants to get through."

Monaco and Tottenham last met in December, when the English outfit claimed a 4-1 win at home in the Europa League.

But Moutinho believes plenty has changed since, saying: "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."