Wolves face a nervous wait to see if they will be able to sign Joao Palhinha from Sporting Lisbon after Fulham reportedly agreed a deal to sign the central midfielder.
Palhinha made 38 appearances during the recently concluded season, registering three goals. His solid performances helped Sporting reach 85 points in the Primeira Liga, although they were beaten to the Portuguese title by Porto.
Palhinha is now a regular in the Portugal national team, having picked up 14 caps and two goals so far in his career. His most recent outing was a short substitute appearance in Portugal’s 2-0 win over the Czech Republic.
The 26-year-old is unlikely to stay at Sporting ahead of next season as Premier League teams close in.
Tottenham and Manchester United have previously been on Palhinha’s trail. But more recently it has been Wolves leading the race.
According to recent reports, Wolves boss Bruno Lage wants to bring in both Palhinha and his Sporting team-mate Matheus Nunes.
The double raid could be essential if Ruben Neves leaves Molineux, as he is rumoured to be on Manchester United’s radar.
And with Joao Moutinho turning 36 in September, signing two new midfielders would make sense for Wanderers.
Fulham rivalling Wolves for Joao Palhinha
But the West Midlands outfit are under threat when it comes to their Palhinha pursuit. That’s because Premier League returnees Fulham are moving closer to landing him.
Fabrizio Romano states the Cottagers have come to an agreement with Sporting for Palhinha’s capture. He will cost an initial £15.3million, although the potential add-ons are unknown.
It is now up to the player, Romano claims. Palhinha is ‘also tempted by Wolves’, which suggests they have an agreement in place with Sporting too.
The Sporting academy graduate will ‘make a decision soon’. Fulham and Wolves will undoubtedly be desperate to hear where he decides to go, as it may impact their other transfer plans too.
Wolves are in talks with João Palhinha
Wolves are lining up a deal for Sporting midfielder João Palhinha as a potential Ruben Neves replacement.
We feel Palhinha is more likely to join Wolves than Fulham. Lage’s men came 10th in the Premier League last season and will be pushing for European qualification next term.
Fulham, in contrast, have just come back up from the Championship. They have now done this twice in a row.
If Palhinha wants stability at top flight level, then he must choose Wolves. Plus, they already have plenty of Portuguese players in their ranks so he will fit in straight away.
Meanwhile, TEAMtalk understands a Prem team is pushing hard to land Morgan Gibbs-White from Wolves this summer.