Joao Moutinho will still be getting linked with a Spurs move when we’re all pushing up daisies.
At the age of 31 the Portuguese midfielder is finally set to move to the Premier League, potentially putting BBC’s gossip column out of business.
But Moutinho won’t be moving to north London. Nope, he’s moving to
Jorge Mendes FC Wolves.
That might come as a bit of a shock.
But in truth Jorge Mendes’ growing influence at Wolves meant it was inevitable that Moutinho would end up in the Black Country.
Moutinho has been partial to a ‘shock move’ throughout his career.
He started out at Sporting CP- Sporting Lisbon if you want to trigger a load of Portuguese fans- and was handed a first-team debut while still a teenager.
Moutinho was capped by Portugal in 2005 and handed the vice-captaincy by Sporting a year later.
Wearing Cristiano Ronaldo’s old no.28 shirt and playing alongside fellow academy graduates and future fellow gossip column gracers Nani and Miguel Veloso, Moutinho helped Sporting lift two consecutive Taca de Portugal trophies.
In short, Moutinho was everything a fan favourite should be. Until the summer of 2010.
On 3 July 2010 Moutinho ditched Sporting for arch-rivals Porto, with selling president Jose Eduardo Bettencourt labelling him a ‘rotten apple’.
Ten years in a Sporting shirt were instantly undone by an act which in any other walk of life would be perfectly normal but, in football, is betrayal at its finest.
Three years at Porto followed in which Moutinho cemented his credentials as one of Portugal’s classiest operators.
He won the treble in his first season, playing under Andre Villas-Boas, and would go on to lift three consecutive league titles.
In August 2012 a deadline day move to Spurs, where Moutinho was supposed to replace Luka Modric, collapsed due to third-party ownership.
At the end of the 2012/13 season Moutinho finally got his move.
Spurs again missed out as Moutinho was signed by Monaco in a joint deal with team-mate James Rodriguez.
It was a punchy move, given Monaco had just earned promotion from Ligue 2 and were playing in front of less than 10,000 people every week.
Moutinho was probably regretting his decision as he watched James, Falcao, Anthony Martial, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Layvin Kurzawa and Yannick Carrasco leave the club for other projects.
However the emergence of Bernardo Silva, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Kylian Mbappe and Thomas Lemar took Monaco to another level in the 2016/17 season.
Moutinho was the old head in midfield as Monaco pipped big-spending PSG to the Ligue 1 title.
Now, at the age of 31, he’s taking on a new challenge. Again, it’s a newly promoted team. Again, they’re backed by ambitious foreign owners. Again, they are spending big to compete for league titles.
Is that a pattern emerging? Wolves Premier League champions 2021/22 confirmed.