André Villas-Boas seeks quick Luka Modric sale to aid Spurs planning

ASTANA. August 18. KAZINFORM André Villas-Boas has admitted that the loss of Luka Modric to Real Madrid would be "dramatic" for Tottenham Hotspur if adequate midfield cover is not signed but he admitted he has ended all interest in João Moutinho, Yann M'Vila and Gastón Ramírez, according to the Guardian.

The manager confirmed that there had been a breakthrough in the talks with the Spanish champions over Modric's proposed transfer and he is planning for the season without the Croat. But Villas-Boas will have to broaden his search for a new midfielder as Porto's Moutinho, who has long been his priority target, seems to be too expensive. As a former Porto coach, Villas-Boas knows how the club's president, Pinto da Costa, demands high prices for the players that he sells.

Villas-Boas said that Tottenham have "moved on" from M'Vila after seeing a £12m bid for him turned down by Rennes although he added that, as a more defensive midfielder, the France international was not the answer to the gap that Modric is set to leave. Bologna's Ramírez, he noted, is a more advanced midfielder, and the club have sufficient strength on the flanks and in the No10 position. Tottenham have had a €16m (£12.5m) offer rejected for the Uruguayan.

"No, it will be very difficult," Villas-Boas said, when asked whether he wants to sign Moutinho. "It's very difficult as the level of expectation of Porto would be very difficult. I have experience of Porto and it is a club that sells expensive but they sell a good product. They have a pride of defending that kind of brand. They know that what they sell triumphs at other clubs. It has been like that with numerous amounts of players and that is why it is very difficult.

"M'Vila is an interesting player but I don't think he will join Tottenham. The player is a player of defensive characteristics. On the possible replacements for Luka, we are looking for a more creative player. I can't lie to you. We had initial interest in the player but we have moved on from that one and are now looking for a more creative player because we think that we have certain players already that offer us those defensive characteristics. With Ramírez, he is in a more advanced role and we are covered in that position."

It was curious to hear Villas-Boas talk about why Tottenham do not really need M'Vila or Ramírez. Why the bids, then? The likely explanation is that the chairman, Daniel Levy, was attracted by their youth, talent and potential sell-on value. They could be shrewd additions at the right price.

Villas-Boas said that the negotiations with Madrid over Modric had "picked up recently" and "were back on track", although he lamented how the delay had "put the market on hold" for Tottenham in terms of making signings. Villas-Boas has replacements for Modric in mind and, for him, it has reached the stage where the club has to push on with their business

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