The Tottenham manager, Andre Villas-Boas, has conceded defeat in trying to sign the Porto midfielder Joao Moutinho as a replacement for Luka Modric. The latter is expected to conclude his transfer to Real Madrid in the next few days after the Spanish club made an offer of more than £30m, which includes add-ons, for the 26-year-old.
Villas-Boas has been told he can reinvest the money on a midfielder and a striker once Modric departs, but the club has been priced out of a move for his preferred target Moutinho, right. He said: "I think it's very, very difficult because the level of expectation over price would be very hard to get.
"The player we want costs more [than Modric will be sold for] and we have moved on. I have experience of Porto and it is a club that sells expensive, but they sell a good product. They have a pride on defending that kind of brand."
The Spurs coach has also ruled out moves for Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila and Bologna's Gastor Ramirez, while Emmanuel Adebayor still seems no closer to completing a £6m switch from Manchester City.
It means Villas-Boas is starting the season at Newcastle tomorrow without the Spurs squad finalised as he would like. However, the 34-year-old is adamant he has learnt from the mistakes he made at Chelsea and is determined to be more patient. He added: "There are changes which have to be done but I think that I won't promote that change as aggressively as I did at Chelsea."
On Modric, the Portuguese said: "No, this is not a distraction. We set out a plan for the player and we have stuck to it. The player is training individually and he doesn't disrupt our environment. I think we will have a conclusion in the next couple of weeks."