Fulham ‘hoping’ for ‘hefty profit’ on summer signing as Man Utd, Chelsea, Spurs all circle
Fulham are bracing themselves for offers for midfielder Joao Palhinha this summer, according to a report.
The Portuguese international joined the Cottagers from Sporting last summer.
Despite costing a measly £17million, Palhinha has been one of the signings of the season and is already being linked with an exit.
Man Utd were believed to be interested in signing the 27-year-old before he joined Fulham following their promotion to the Premier League.
The Red Devils will probably feel they made a mistake not signing Palhinha and will now need to spend around triple what Fulham did if they want to sign him this summer.
Interest in Palhinha is no surprise whatsoever given his terrific form in the Premier League.
In comparison to other central midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues, Palhinha ranks the highest in tackles per game (4.15) and also boasts very impressive numbers when it comes to interceptions (1.29 per game), aerials won (2.06), clearances (1.99) and passes blocked (0.42).
The Portuguese midfielder’s form has helped Fulham safely avoid relegation to the Championship. For context, they have been relegated in their previous three top-flight campaigns.
Marco Silva is doing a fantastic job at Craven Cottage, but does have his compatriot to thank for much of his side’s success.
Football Insider claimed earlier this week that Spurs are keen on signing Palhinha, with Liverpool also very interested.
And the same outlet has revealed how much he will cost if he does leave Fulham at the end of 2022-23.
Silva’s side ‘will ask for offers in excess of £50m’ and are ‘braced’ for a high volume of bids this summer.
Unsurprisingly, the London outfit are ‘hopeful of making a hefty profit on their investment’.
Palhinha’s ‘impressive debut season in England’ has attracted interest from a host of Premier League and European clubs.
Mentioned in the report are Man Utd, Spurs and Chelsea, who could all do with a player of Palhinha’s quality and profile.
Erik ten Hag does have Casemiro at his disposal but will likely pursue another No. 6 for depth, with the Brazilian picking up three separate suspensions this season.
Spurs, on the other hand, have been let down by Yves Bissouma, though they do have Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur, who are both admittedly more box-to-box midfield players.
It is no surprise to see Chelsea linked with Palhinha given how happy they have been to spend money in recent transfer windows.
The Blues did sign Enzo Fernandez from Benfica for a British record £107m in January, though he is not a natural deep-lying midfielder and should be utilised further up the pitch or in a pivot.
With N’Golo Kante expected to leave when his contract expires in June, Graham Potter’s replacement at Stamford Bridge – who is expected to be Mauricio Pochettino – will probably look to sign a player like Palhinha, or the man himself.
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