Tottenham agrees £22m club record fee for Porto playmaker Joao Moutinho

Tottenham have agreed a club record £22 million fee with Porto for playmaker Joao Moutinho.

The Portuguese playmaker has been identified by Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas as the preferred replacement for Luka Modric, who completed a transfer worth £33.2m to Real Madrid earlier this week.

Tottenham do not expect to encounter any problems when discussing personal terms with Moutinho, who has expressed his desire to play in the Premier League and re-unite with former Porto boss Andre Villas-Boas.

Porto had previously asked for £30m for the 25-year-old but dropped their asking price as the transfer window draws to a close, with their other star player, Hulk, now likely to stay at the Estadio do Dragao.

Villas-Boas claimed as recently as Thursday that Moutinho would be too expensive but chairman Daniel Levy has backed him with a deal that would break the club’s transfer record, currently £16.5m paid for Modric in 2008.

Spurs have chased Moutinho all summer to become the creative fulcrum of the side and, if he completes a switch, he will join new signing Mousa Dembele in the Spurs midfield as Villas-Boas makes his mark on the squad.

Moutinho’s arrival became increasingly likely once Spurs allowed Van der Vaart to travel to Hamburg for a medical, with the clubs close to reaching an agreement, thought to be in the region of £10m, for his departure from White Hart Lane.