Joao Palhinha to Bayern Munich: What’s the latest?

Fulham are facing some drama ahead of deadline day, as Bayern Munich eye star player Joao Palhinha to bolster their midfield. 

It’s speculated that the Cottagers have turned down a bid worth £47m from the Bavarians for the defensive midfielder, who was valued by his club earlier this summer at a whopping £90m in the bid to warn off interest.

Renowned journalist Fabrizio Romano reported that the Portuguese ace has made it clear to Fulham that he’d like to take the opportunity to join the German champions, with an agreement on personal terms believed to be in place. 

A contract is said to be offered to Palhinha from Bayern valid until 2028, with negotiations with the player and club not looking to be an issue from this point. 

How good is Joao Palhinha?

The main issue is Fulham’s reluctance to sell, which is obvious considering the part he played last season, and his crucial role in Marco Silva’s squad in the engine room. Last campaign, the 28-year-old ranked the highest in the Premier League in terms of his rate of tackles per 90, averaging a monstrous 4.26 per 90 to showcase just how vital he is in keeping the danger away from the back line at Craven Cottage. 

Joao Palhinha to Bayern Munich: What's the latest?
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On the other side, Bayern have been searching for a defensive midfielder, with the Bavarians previously linked to Declan Rice, who opted to join Arsenal amid a three-way race for the Englishman alongside Manchester City as other suitors. 

Speaking last week, manager Thomas Tuchel stressed to the media of his desire to capture a midfielder capable of playing the deep number six role, with his side only having three central midfielders available at present to play the position. The German explained how his side play with a double pivot, adding to their requirements to recruit a defensively competent midfielder to their ranks this window, with Palhinha fitting the narrative perfectly. 

Joao Palhinha to Bayern Munich: What's the latest?
Photo by Icon sport

When revising the talent on show in that position, not many are as combative and dominating in the middle of the park than Palhinha, making Fulham’s attempts to ignore interest all the more difficult.

With personal terms already said to be agreed, it could be a struggle for the Premier League side to deny the Portugal international passage to the Bundesliga, while maintaining amicable terms with their star man. Considering the 28-year-old only joined Fulham last summer, it’s expected that the Cottagers are reluctant to see the dominating midfielder depart, however now the Cottagers have the opportunity to get a profitable price for the talent. 

Negotiations are said to be ongoing for the midfielder, with big conversations to be had between the two clubs now that the player's stance is clear on where he’d like his next destination to be.