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Saturday, September 1, 2012
AVB: Spurs were close to Moutinho deal

Miguel Delaney

Andre Villas-Boas has said Tottenham came very close to signing Joao Moutinho on transfer deadline day, only for a breakdown in contract negotiations to prevent the deal from happening.

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Moutinho, 25, is a long-time Tottenham target, with some observers seeing him as an essential signing for Villas-Boas following the departure of Luka Modric to Real Madrid.

The Spurs manager, however, insists there is enough cover in his squad and that the failure to sign Portugal international Moutinho should not overshadow the surprise deadline day purchase of Fulham's Clint Dempsey.

"We were covered because of the fact it could not happen, bearing in mind they [Porto] are a difficult club to deal with," he said.

"We agreed terms late but there were situations regarding the contract that were not right but, again, we had solutions and we had enough cover. Moutinho's transfer not happening shouldn't overshadow the fact we got one of the coups of the transfer marker in Clint Dempsey."

Villas-Boas would not be drawn on whether Spurs would go back in for Moutinho in the next window, saying: "It's extremely difficult. For the moment, let's give the speculation a rest. It's the rest of the season."

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