AS Monaco Agrees to Deal for Porto Stars Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2013

MALAGA, SPAIN - MARCH 13: Julio C. Baptista of Malaga CF (L) competes for the ball with Joao Moutinho (R) of FC Porto during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between Malaga CF and FC Porto at La Rosaleda Stadium on March 13, 2013 in Malaga, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

AS Monaco has announced an agreement with Porto to acquire midfielder Joao Moutinho along with forward James Rodriguez, reports ESPN.

Acquiring the two stars represents a major coup for Monaco as the club prepares for a move back to Ligue 1 after winning the Ligue 2 title. It makes an immediate statement that they are willing to spend big to compete, similar to what Paris Saint-Germain have done.

Andy Scott of AFP reports the duo was valued at a combined €70 million by Porto.

The large transfer fee illustrates the significance of the agreement for Monaco, who didn't waste any time preparing for their return to the top level of French football.

Moutinho, a 26-year-old central midfielder, showcased terrific form during Porto's run to the Champions League round of 16. He accounted for two goals and two assists in eight matches, playing a vital role to jump-start the attack in each.

He's a well-rounded player with an ability to play any role in the midfield. He's at his best in a prototypical central role, however, which allows him to roam from box to box. And the best news of all for Monaco is that he should just be entering his prime.

The Rodriguez acquisition is one more based on potential. At 21, the Colombian has flashed near-limitless upside over the past two seasons with the Portistas. Monaco will hope he can improve his consistency and become somebody who can lead the attack for many years.

Spending such a large amount on two players right away is obviously a risk for Monaco. But with the club's additional reported pursuit of La Liga star Radamel Falcao, they clearly have their focus set on competing in Ligue 1 right away and didn't want to miss out on the chance to add two key pieces.

Moutinho and Rodriguez should both play pivotal roles next season, so it won't take long to find out whether they were worth the major investment.