Manchester United identify Fulham star as Declan Rice alternative but face competition from five teams
Posted by  badge Boss on Mar 13, 2023 - 02:42PM
Midfielders look set to be in hot demand in the summer transfer window (Pictures: Getty)

have added Fulham star Joao Palhinha to their list of potential midfield targets though could face significant competition this summer, according to reports.

The Portugal international has enjoyed an excellent first season in the Premier League since swapping Sporting Lisbon for Craven Cottage in a £20million deal.

Palhinha has played 24 times in the Premier League for Fulham – though has missed the last two games due to suspension – and netted three times, while he also helped the Cottagers secure their passage to the quarter-finals of the with a wonderful long-range strike against Leeds.

It is his defensive numbers that have really caught the eye, though, with no player completing more tackles than the 27-year-old’s 101 successful challenges, while he also has 33 interceptions.

Fulham pulled off something of a coup when Marco Silva managed to lure his compatriot to west London, though they are conscious that his superb displays are garnering a lot of attention.

According to , chief among Palhinha’s suitors is Manchester United, with manager Erik ten Hag keen to bring in a new midfielder this summer.

Fulham would want to at least double their money if they sold the Portuguese enforcer after just one season, which means they would only entertain offers in excess of £40m.

Palhinha has been a revelation since joining Fulham (Picture: Getty)

But that would be a relative bargain compared to the fee United would need to pay for another long-time midfield target Declan Rice, who is likely to command a British record transfer fee in excess of £100m.

, while United are unlikely to reignite a move for Frenkie de Jong after the Dutchman reiterated his commitment to Barcelona.

United will continue to monitor Palhinha until the end of the season, though they are conscious of the fact he has four years left on his contract with Fulham and will not come cheap.

They are also aware of interest from other Premier League clubs, with Newcastle, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham all keeping tabs on him.

Liverpool are perhaps the team most in need of a player like Palhinha, though for now their priority is the Fulham star’s Portuguese team-mate Matheus Nunes – who has impressed in fits and bursts for Wolves.

Chelsea are also keen to add a new midfielder to their squad in the summer, though are more interested in Moises Caicedo despite the Ecuadorian signing a new contract with Brighton earlier this month.


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