Money bags Monaco splash out $90 million on Porto pair
May 24, 2013 -- Updated 1759 GMT (0159 HKT)
Joao Moutinho (left) and James Rodriguez hold the Portuguese league title after Porto's 2013 triumph.
- AS Monaco swoop for a pair of Porto players
- Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez sign five year deals
- Promoted Monaco pay $90 million for the duo
- Monaco owned by Russian billionaire Dimitri Rybolovlev
(CNN) -- AS Monaco signaled their intention to use their financial muscle in the summer transfer window with an audacious double swoop Friday for Porto pair Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez,
Monaco, backed by Russian billionaire owner Dimitri Rybolovkev, will return to France's Ligue 1 next season after wrapping up the second-flight title, and other high profile signings are expected.
Portuguese champions Porto said the deal was worth 70 million euros ($90.6 million) with 21-year-old Colombian international striker Rodriguez valued at 45 million euros and midfielder Moutinho worth 25 million euros.
A statement on their website described the deal as the "biggest in Portuguese football history" and the club has made a profit of over 50 million euros from the original fees they paid for the players in 2010.
Prince Albert of Monaco on tax and space
CNN FC stars preview CL final
CNN FC stars preview CL final
Read: Becks bows out as PSG celebrate title
Monaco confirmed that both had signed five-year deals.
The 21-year-old Rodriguez, who has helped Porto to three straight domestic titles, was reportedly a target for English Premier League champions Manchester United, while Moutinho nearly join their EPL counterparts Tottenham Hotspur last season.
Monaco, coached by Italian Claudio Ranieri, have also been linked with Atletico Madrid's Colombian striker Radamel Falcoa, who carries a 60 million euros price tag and is wanted by a clutch of Europe's elite clubs.
Watch: What makes Ibrahimovic tick?
With money apparently no object, the team from the principality, will look to rival the new French champions Paris-Saint Germain, who have Qatari backing, enabling to sign such names as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the now-retired David Beckham.
Monaco were regular participants in European club competition, reaching the final of the Champions League in 2004.
But a steady decline set in, culminating in their relegation to Ligue 2 in 2011.
Rybolovkev took over at the end of that year and has pumped in money to help the return quickly to the top flight under the stewardship of former Chelsea coach Ranieri.
Part of complete coverage on
Be part of CNN's coverage of European Champions League matches and join the social debate.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1523 GMT (2323 HKT)
The 1989 Hillsborough stadium tragedy, which claimed 96 lives, brought the red and the blue halves of Liverpool together.
CNN's Don Riddell says the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy has caused irreparable damage to the families of the 96 victims and the survivors.
April 11, 2014 -- Updated 1244 GMT (2044 HKT)
Two European heavyweights will collide in the Champions League semifinals after Bayern Munich and Real Madrid were drawn together in Switzerland.
March 24, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
England prides itself on being the home of football, but is the nation dysfunctional in dealing with racist abuse?
March 18, 2014 -- Updated 1339 GMT (2139 HKT)
In a city where football is a religion, Liverpool and England striker Daniel Sturridge is fast becoming a deity.
Some of the biggest names in football lined up for a charity match, but CNN's Tom McGowan wonders if they can help beat poverty.
March 4, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
"Everyone is scared about war -- they are very nervous," former Ukraine football star Oleg Luzhny says of the rising tensions with Russia.
February 26, 2014 -- Updated 1807 GMT (0207 HKT)
Bayern Munich's present success rests on one key decision, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge tells CNN.
February 18, 2014 -- Updated 0922 GMT (1722 HKT)
"More than a Club." It is an image Barcelona has carefully cultivated, but could the controversial deal to sign Neymar sour that view?
February 1, 2014 -- Updated 1825 GMT (0225 HKT)
Affectionately known as "the wise man of Hortaleza," Luis Aragones -- who died aged 75 -- left the legacy of helping Spain's ascension to the top.
January 23, 2014 -- Updated 2118 GMT (0518 HKT)
Real Madrid hasn't won the European Champions League in over a decade, but the Spanish club is invincible in one field -- making money.
The naming of the world's best footballer is not all that it seems, says CNN's James Masters.
Today's five most popular stories