Villas-Boas: Tottenham never expected Moutinho signing

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has admitted that he never truly expected to complete the capture of Porto midfielder Joao Moutinho on deadline day.

Spurs were one of Friday’s most active clubs, completing deals for Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and bringing in Fulham forward Clint Dempsey.

And, though the north London outfit failed in their pursuit of the Portuguese playmaker, their 34-year-old manager praised the work of club chairman Daniel Levy.

“This has been a busy transfer window and I cannot praise highly enough the efforts the club made to sign Joao Moutinho,” he told Spurs’ official website.

“I have said all along that this was never an easy transfer and as such we never had enormous expectations of getting this deal across the line.”

The former Chelsea coach went on to explain the decision to allow midfielder Rafael van der Vaart to leave for Hamburg on the final day of the transfer window.

“The additions we have made in midfield coupled with the existing players we have in this position gives us exceptional cover in this department, which resulted in us being prepared to release Rafael van der Vaart,” he added.

The Portuguese also expressed his delight with Tottenham’s squad depth following their summer acquisitions.

“I believe we have some fantastic attacking options following our summer transfer activity, which strengthen us in respect of what I like to describe as forwards and strikers. Our signings offer us really good combinations,” Villas-Boas continued.

“I believe the window was a good one for us. I am satisfied that we have the flair, creativity and strength in depth across all areas to make significant strides this season. The most important thing now is to get on with playing football and winning games.”

Premier League clubs dominate summer spending as most of Europe cuts back

Premier League clubs spent a massive £490 million (€618m) in the summer transfer window, an increase of £4m (€6.3m) from the same period last year, according to analysis by business advisory firm Deloitte.

A frenetic final day of transfer activity saw a number of big-money deals completed before the window closed, with Manchester City signing Javi Garcia for £18m (€22.7m), Fulham bringing in Dimitar Berbatov and Tottenham snapping up both Hugo Lloris and Clint Dempsey.

While this summer’s spending did not reach the record of £500m (€630.8m) spent in 2008, it came very close, with the newly-promoted clubs also not afraid to heavily invest, as evidenced by Southampton smashing their club record with the £11m (€15m) capture of Gaston Ramirez from Bologna.

The analysis also revealed that Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal have all exceeded £30m (€37.8m) in gross transfer spending, while a busy final day saw Premier League clubs conclude deals totalling around £110m (€138.8m), approximately £9m (€12.6m) more than the equivalent deadline day figure for summer 2011.

Overseas, Spanish clubs kept relatively quiet, with Real Madrid making one big signing in Luka Modric, while Barcelona spent €14m on Jordi Alba, and another €19m (£15m) on Alex Song.

The chasing pack, meanwhile, spent relatively modest sums; Valencia’s spending was dictated by how much they received, while Atletico Madrid were more focused on keeping hold of Radamel Falcao.

Malaga, experiencing financial troubles, took Roque Santa Cruz on loan and let go of Santi Cazorla and Salomon Rondon.

The rest of La Liga barely spent any money whatsoever, as has become the norm in recent seasons.

Juventus were the biggest spenders in Serie A as they secured the services of players such as Mauricio Isla, Kwadwo Asamoah and Sebastian Giovinco, while Inter did not hesitate to spend big on Alvaro Pereira, Samir Handanovic and Rodrigo Palacio.

AC Milan were pillaged by mainland Europe’s biggest spenders, while Fiorentina made some impressive purchases, largely financed by the late sale of Matija Nastasic to Manchester City.

On the whole, it is estimated -not by Deloitte, however – that the 20 clubs earned more money than they spent transfer-wise.

Elsewhere, Bayern Munich paid a record fee of €40m to lure Javi Martinez away from Athletic Bilbao, while champions Borussia Dortmund splashed the money they received from Manchester United for Shinji Kagawa on Marco Reus.

Hamburg shelled out on Rafael van der Vaart to boost their spending, but it was a similiar story for the rest of the Bundesliga.

The remaining 15 clubs spent no more than an estimated €7m net on transfers, with the biggest spenders, Bayer Leverkusen (around €5.6m net) and Borussia Monchengladbach (around €6.5m net), benefiting from Champions League income.

However, the unrivalled champions when it comes to spending in mainland Europe are Ligue 1 powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain.

Les Parisiens parted with over €100m in order to sign Ezequiel Lavezzi, Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side apart, however, French spending was extremely low; Lille, Olympique de Marseille and Olympique Lyonnais all posted estimated transfer-related profits of at least €10m, while no club – PSG aside – had a higher net spend than €5m.

Cartoon of the Day: Rodgers the deadline day loser as transfers pass Liverpool by

As Premier League clubs frantically tried to tie up deals for players on Friday, Liverpool were caught on their heels as rival clubs stole the march on their summer transfer targets.

Liverpool’s unwillingness to meet Fulham’s valuation for Clint Dempsey resulted in the forward ending up with a move to Tottenham.

Another of the Reds’ reported targets, Gaston Ramirez, was also involved in the deadline day furore as he made a switch to Southampton.

Brendan Rodgers’ is now faced with the prospect of keeping Luis Suarez in bubble wrap and away from sharp objects until January as the Liverpool boss faces the first half of the campaign with reduced numbers in attack.

Rodgers the deadline day loser as transfers pass Liverpool by

Official: Anzhi sign Lassana Diarra on loan from Real Madrid

Real Madrid have announced on their official website that they have reached an agreement with Anzhi Makhachkala over the one-season loan of Lassana Diarra, pending a medical.

The Russian outfit were keen to add some more experience to their squad in order to fight for top honours, and Guus Hiddink sees Diarra as the ideal addition to his midfield.

The 27-year-old joined Madrid from Portsmouth in January 2009, and quickly developed into an important first-team member at the Santiago Bernabeu.

However, he has since lost his spot in the starting XI and was deemed surplus to requirements by head coach Jose Mourinho.

Diarra had also attracted the interest of AC Milan, but the Serie A side eventually opted to sign Nigel de Jong instead.

Bendtner will not improve Juventus, says Tacchinardi

Former Italy international Alessio Tacchinardi has questioned Juventus’ decision to sign Nicklas Bendtner from Arsenal on a one-year loan deal.

The Serie A champions completed the signing of the Denmark international on Friday, but Tacchinardi feels the towering striker does not add anything to the team.

“I will not say that Bendtner is a bad player, but he does not help improve Juventus either. He is not the player that helps them make the step up in quality,” Tacchinardi stated to Sky Sport Italia.

“I will not deny that he is a decent striker, but I would have preferred to see another attacker join Juventus this summer.”

Gianluca Vialli, who led the line for Juventus from 1992 until 1996, has plenty of doubts about the former Gunners striker as well, but feels his physicality could prove helpful.

“Bendtner is very convinced of his own qualities and is not afraid to try something difficult. His courage and physicality will be a weapon in Italy.

“Nevertheless, he will not stand out for his skills. He has chosen the wrong league if that’s what he’s aiming for.”

Bendtner could make his official Juve debut on Sunday against Udinese.