Fulham in battle to keep Joao Palhinha as Premier League clubs and Bayern circle

Joao Palhinha arrives for a match at Craven Cottage - Premier League clubs rival Bayern Munich for Fulham’s Joao Palhinha

Bayern Munich will face competition from multiple Premier League clubs in the battle to sign Joao Palhinha from Fulham, Telegraph Sport understands.

Palhinha was on the verge of signing for Bayern on the final day of the summer transfer window and remains a target for the German club.

But it is understood that at least two Premier League clubs are also showing interest in the Portugal international, who has established himself as one of the division’s dominant central midfield players since his £17 million move from Sporting Lisbon in July 2022.

Palhinha signed a new contract at Fulham in September, tying him to the club until 2028, after the collapse of his move to Munich. However, that deal has not stopped potential suitors showing interest ahead of a possible transfer in January or next summer.

Bayern had agreed to pay a fee of around £60 million for Palhinha earlier this year and the midfielder even flew to Munich for a medical, but the deal fell through because Fulham were unable to find a suitable replacement in time.

In an interview with Bild last month, Christoph Freund, the Bayern sporting director, confirmed that the club remain keen on signing Palhinha.

“Of course he is still on our radar,” said Freund. “The club worked intensively with Palhinha in the summer. I was there for a bit on the last, strange day of the transfer window. But you can’t say yet what will happen.”

Last week, Palhinha told the Fulham Fix podcast that he believes the Premier League is the “best league in the world” and the division that is best suited to his style of play.

“I always looked to the Premier League as the best league for me as a player,” he said. “My characteristics, what I want to do on the pitch, for me it is the best league that I fit.”

Palhinha has become a fan favourite at Fulham for his aggression and intensity in midfield, and for his excellent performances this season despite the collapse of his move to Germany.

So far this campaign he has made 57 tackles in the Premier League, at least 15 more than any other player in the division.

Palhinha has made it clear that he is committed to fighting for Fulham but also that he wants to test himself at the highest possible level.

On international duty last month, he said: “I know I can reach higher and it is with this ambition that I face the future.”

Fulham have been linked with a January move for Fluminense midfielder Andre, who is expected to leave Brazil next month.