Joao Moutinho 'upset' by Monaco exits of Falcao, Martial, James, Kondogbia

Monaco midfielder Joao Moutinho said that watching the club change its transfer policy and begin selling its star players has been a "frustrating" experience.

Moutinho, 29, arrived in the principality along with James Rodriguez in the summer of 2013 as part of a massive €70 million double transfer.

But the club has sold off a host of big-name players since then, including Rodriguez -- something the former Porto central midfielder has found difficult to take.

"The project has changed," the Portugal international told L'Equipe. "It's no longer the one that I came for but that's the way it is. In every club I've been at, there were always departures and that didn't prevent me from staying three or four years.

"I didn't feel misled but I was upset. I want to play for a team that plays every competition to win. And in this project, it's more difficult -- there's naturally a bit of frustration."

For his first season at Monaco, Moutinho was joined by players like Radamel Falcao, Ricardo Carvalho, Geoffrey Kondogbia and Jeremy Toulalan as the club's Russian owner Dmitry Rybolovlev invested over €150m on their return to the top flight.

Monaco finished second to Paris Saint-Germain but attendances and commercial revenue did not increase significantly, while the club also became concerned about breaching UEFA's financial fair play rules.

Last season Leonardo Jardim's side lost Falcao to Manchester United -- now on loan at Chelsea -- and Rodriguez to Real Madrid, but they still managed to finish third in Ligue 1 and also reached the Champions League quarterfinals.

But ahead of this campaign the club sold off key players such as Kondogbia, Anthony Martial, Yannick Ferreira Carrasco, Aymen Abdennour and Layvin Kurzawa.

The sales raised in excess of €150m but last month Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev insisted the club were still ambitious, pointing out that they had also spent €75m on new players.

Moutinho, though, believes that Monaco should learn from one of his former teams to achieve a better balance.

"Porto is different," he said. "They don't let four or five starters leave from one season to another. They sell one or two players and, when they do so, they already have a replacement who's been there for a year to take their place.

"What's important is to find a good balance between the team, the objectives and the financial aspect. That's what Monaco needs.

"I've been here three years and the team has won nothing. We have to do everything to give our supporters something to celebrate."

Moutinho is now one of the few major signings from the 2013-2014 season who is still at the club, but the former Sporting Lisbon player admits that he has considered joining the exodus.

"There were discussions but nothing materialised," he added. "We'll see what happens at the end of the season. At the moment it would no longer be any use to talk about it.

"I'm at Monaco, focused on my club. The team is young -- it needs to be led. I've accepted to take up the challenge."