Bayern Munich have entered the race for Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha, who is wanted by Premier League giants Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.
The Portuguese midfielder moved from Sporting CP to Craven Cottage last summer and has become a key component of Marco Silva’s midfield this season.
With 36 appearances in all competitions, Palhinha has also established himself as one of the top-class midfielders in the Premier League.
The 27-year-old has caught the attention of Bayern, who are in the market for a high-quality defensive midfielder.
The Bavarians reportedly scouted the Portuguese midfielder during last month’s game against Aston Villa.
The Cottagers are aware that offers will pile up for Palhinha and will demand more than £50 million from the suitors.
The former Sporting star is open to leaving Fulham just after one season for a chance to play for an elite club.
Will Palhinha’s arrival impact the futures of Ryan Gravenberch & Marcel Sabitzer?
Bayern’s new manager Thomas Tuchel is prioritising a holding midfielder in the summer transfer window due to the lack of options in the current squad.
Joshua Kimmich plays in a deeper position, but he is known for his playmaking skills rather than his defensive attributes.
Kimmich’s midfield partner Leon Goretzka is a box-to-box midfielder and is always insecure during transitions due to his tendency to make runs into the attacking third.
The Bavarians have lacked a typical number six since the departure of Thiago Alcantara in 2020, and Bayern’s hierarchy have been criticised for failing to deal with the issue.
Palhinha is a tailor-made solution to Bayern’s woes and can be a central figure in Tuchel’s plans.
However, his arrival could lead to the departures of Ryan Gravenberch and Marcel Sabitzer from Allianz Arena.
Gravenberch’s future is already hanging in the balance, having grown frustrated over his lack of game time this season.
Bayern want to fend off the suitors and keep hold of the Dutch midfielder, but he wants a regular role to continue with the German champions.
However, Palhinha’s signing will only dent Gravenberch’s chances and may even lead to his exit.
Premier League giants Liverpool are in pole position to sign the former Ajax star if he leaves Bayern at the end of the season.
Sabitzer’s loan spell expires at Old Trafford this summer, and he wants to continue with the Red Devils rather than return to Bayern.
The Austrian midfielder has made a palpable impact with Man United this season and has gained the trust of manager Erik ten Hag.
Although Sabitzer has made clear his desire, United are still pondering whether to make his deal permanent.
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