By London correspondent Tony Hughes
Joao Moutinho has revealed he was within “minutes” of signing for Tottenham when Andre Villas-Boas was the manager.
Moutinho was in London on transfer deadline day in August 2012 as Spurs tried to finalise a deal to recruit him from Porto for a then club-record £24million.
The papers were signed and submitted to Premier League officials but the paperwork was not registered in time and the move collapsed.
The 90-times-capped international, 30, returned to Portugal and signed for Monaco 12 months later, when Villas-Boas wanted him again but Tottenham pursued other targets with the windfall from the sale of Gareth Bale.
“It’s true I was a few minutes from signing for Spurs,” said Moutinho as quoted by the Mail.”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, who was a key member of the Portugal squad that triumphed against the odds at Euro 2016, is expected to start in Monaco’s midfield against Tottenham at Wembley.
A crowd of more than 85,000 will be at Wembley for the showdown, which could be the biggest ever to watch a club match in England, excluding cup finals and semi-finals.
Manchester City hold the record at 84,467 for an FA Cup sixth-round tie against Stoke in March 1934.
In other Tottenham transfer news, the club have sealed a £19.5million deal.