Tottenham will make a bid for Man Utd target Joao Palhinha before May is out, with Antonio Conte looking to make his engine room a real strength, per a report.
The 26-year-old Portugal international has taken his game to new heights this season. Palhinha has been a integral part of Sporting Lisbon’s midfield and helped the club to run FC Porto close in the Primeira Liga.
Palhinha has operated at the base of Sporting’s midfield and had even shown a penchant for scoring goals with three strikes to his name.
His rapid rise over the last 18 months saw him handed his senior Portugal debut in 2021. Since making his bow on the international stage, Palhinha has become a regular fixture in the squads with 12 appearances now to his name.
In February, it was reported Palhinha had been heavily scouted by Manchester United.
Red Devils scouts travelled to watch the midfielder in action when Sporting squared off against Porto earlier this season.
United scouts got more than an eyeful, however, when seeing Palhinha red-carded during a 40-man scrum post-match.
Regardless, that incident should not blot his otherwise stellar copybook. And according to Football London, Tottenham are looking to steal a march on United.
Palhinha bid coming ‘within the month’
Citing Portuguese outlet Jornal de Noticias, it’s stated Spurs are due to make a bid for Palhinha ‘within the month’.
Conte reportedly wishes to make another impressive addition to his central midfield ranks despite signing Rodrigo Bentancur in January. Palhinha is deemed an ‘ideal’ candidate to do just that.
January recruit Bentancur has wasted little time in finding his feet in north London.
The Uruguayan has already formed a formidable partnership with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Though one can never have too many dependable options in the engine room.
Manchester United target Sporting Lisbon midfielder
Manchester United are being linked with Sporting Lisbon defensive midfielder Palhinha as they look to replace Nemanja Matic.
Tanguy Ndombele’s future remains up in the air. The Frenchman is currently on loan at Lyon. Though even if that move isn’t made permanent, his game is not the type Conte requires for his system anyway.
Giovani Lo Celso is excelling on loan with Villarreal and could yet make that move permanent. As such, Conte can only call upon Harry Winks and Oliver Skipp in reserve at present.
But with a Champions League campaign potentially on the horizon next year – or a Europa League run at the very least – Conte will require more than just four midfielders at his disposal.
Palhinha is the type of rugged and no-nonsense option Conte has targeted throughout his managerial career. What’s more, Portuguese outlet Correio da Manha recently claimed a deal could be made for £25m – £9m less than first thought.