Spurs back in the market for Moutinho

Posted by ESPN Staff

Joao Moutinho wheels away after putting Porto in front against MalagaGettyImagesJoao Moutinho may reunite with manager Andre Villas-Boas

Fresh from the disappointment of missing out on next season's Champions League competition, Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has set his sights on bolstering his squad for next campaign, with Joao Moutinho re-emerging as his top target.

Spurs missed out on Europe's premier club competition on the final day of the season, but Villas-Boas has wasted no time in making his preparations for the new campaign, stepping up his chase for Moutinho, according to a report in The Sun. Indeed, the FC Porto midfielder - who played under Villas-Boas in Portugal - was close to moving to White Hart Lane at the start of the season before the deal fell through at the eleventh hour.

Now, a £30 million bid is expected to be launched by Spurs as they aim to force their way into the Premier League's top four next season.

If Villas-Boas has been quick to act, incoming Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has been more so, identifying Real Madrid defender Pepe as a target before even touching down in England. The Daily Mail reports the out-of-favour Portugal international may follow Pellegrini to the Premier League from Spain.

However, the one sticking point in a potential deal could come in the form of a £20 million price tag that Real have slapped on the 30-year-old.

Meanwhile, in the managerial world, Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho's fate appears to be sealed, with Carlo Ancelotti revealed as the preferred boss at the Santiago Bernabeu next term. The Daily Mail claims Real's board will hold a meeting on Monday evening to determine Mourinho's future.

It is understood that Mourinho has all but agreed to a return to Chelsea, but an ongoing stumbling block in completing the move is a mega-million pay-out which must be negotiated between the Portuguese and his current employers.

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