Man Utd scheming to snatch standout Premier League signing as Casemiro cover in £40m deal to deny Liverpool

Joao Palhinha and Enzo Fernandez Credit: Alamy
Joao Palhinha and Enzo Fernandez Credit: Alamy

Manchester United have shortlisted a recent Premier League arrival they could now recruit for themselves, according to a report.

Preparations are already underway for the summer transfer window at Man Utd, as will be the case for all the top clubs. For Erik ten Hag’s side, the priority might be to bring in a centre-forward. But there will be other tasks on their agenda too.

For example, adding another midfielder might be beneficial. The issue has recently come to light because of Casemiro’s disciplinary record.

The former Real Madrid star has had a positive impact on Man Utd since joining in the summer. However, he recently served a ban for a red card and then received another during United’s draw with Southampton on Sunday – much to the disdain of Ten Hag.

Without him and the injured Christian Eriksen, Man Utd haven’t looked as strong. Therefore, they might need more cover to compete with the likes of Fred, given that players such as Scott McTominay and Donny van de Beek might be at risk of leaving, while Marcel Sabitzer’s future after his loan spell from Bayern Munich is not yet decided.

Now, a report from The Sun has revealed one midfield option on Man Utd’s radar. It is claimed that they are keen on Joao Palhinha, whom Fulham signed from Sporting CP in the summer.

According to the report, Palhinha could earn another move fairly quickly thanks to his form for Fulham this season, which has elevated him to a valuation above £40million. He has led the way in terms of his tackling abilities across 24 Premier League appearances.

Therefore, Man Utd have identified him as someone they could sign, theoretically to complement Casemiro. Their problem is that several of their domestic rivals are having similar thoughts.

Plenty of options for Joao Palhinha

Per the update, Palhinha is also of interest to Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Newcastle United.

Liverpool’s need to strengthen in midfield is even more obvious than Man Utd’s. They could complete an overhaul in the position, where they might lose James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on free transfers.

Tottenham also have a potential opening in the role because of a long-term injury to Rodrigo Bentancur. Across London, Chelsea may need a long-term successor to the out-of-contract N’Golo Kante, for example.

They also recently offloaded Jorginho to Arsenal, who may be looking for further investment for their ageing engine room. At 27 years old, Palhinha could be one solution.

Finally, Newcastle have made significant progress this season and are now competing with the top clubs on and off the pitch. Being in contention to prise Palhinha away from Fulham is another indicator of their status.

But Man Utd will be hoping to keep everyone else at arm’s length in the race for his transfer. That said, he is just one of many options for them at this stage.

Likewise, Liverpool are also looking at Wolves’ Matheus Nunes and Ruben Neves, as well as Brighton’s Moises Caicedo.

Clearly, many midfielders could be on the move in the summer to fill potential vacancies within the most powerful clubs. Only time will tell who ends up with whom.

READ MORE: Boehly keen on cheeky Chelsea swoop for Man Utd target to hinder Ten Hag plans during summer

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