Wolves appear to be closing in the signing of Joao Palhinha from Sporting CP, but could reportedly face late competition from Fulham.
Palhinha is near the top of the Wolves shortlist for transfers this summer. He could potentially be a replacement for Ruben Neves, who has given the club good service but may be willing to find a bigger stage now.
Wolves could once again look to Portugal for his successor. At the age of 26, Palhinha is in his prime years and may be ready for his first taste of Premier League football.
There have been several reports about Wolves’ interest in the Sporting star. Now, Record are reporting that a deal is close between the two clubs.
Supposedly, Wolves have an agreement in principle to pay Sporting €20m (£17m) for Palhinha’s services.
However, they are yet to get a deal over the line, perhaps because Neves has not moved on yet.
What’s more, the report claims Fulham are now ready to make their own offer of €20m to Sporting in an attempt to hijack the deal.
Fulham will need to find reinforcements after securing promotion back to the Premier League. Just like Wolves with Bruno Lage, they have a Portuguese manager in the form of Marco Silva.
Hence, either club could increase their Portuguese contingent by adding 14-cap international Palhinha.
It would seem Wolves would have the advantage due to their longer-lasting pursuit. But things can change quickly in the transfer market.
Still, Lage wants him at Molineux and they are working on the deal. They will hope to stay ahead of Fulham in the transfer battle.
Joao Palhinha would be better off at Wolves than Fulham
Wolves would seem to be a better destination due to the stability they have enjoyed in the Premier League recently. Fulham, on the other hand, have been up and down between the top flight and the Championship.
Manchester United target Sporting Lisbon midfielder
Manchester United are being linked with Sporting Lisbon defensive midfielder Palhinha as they look to replace Nemanja Matic.
The London outfit keep showing ambition to establish themselves, but have struggled to sustain themselves in the top tier. Therefore, until they can prove they belong in the Premier League, targets may be more inclined to choose clubs like Wolves.
Lage guided his side to the top half of the Premier League last season despite their struggles for goals. With a few appropriate tweaks, though, they could aim even higher.
Palhinha has played at European level before with Sporting and Braga, and if he comes to the Premier League, it may be Wolves who give him the best chance of getting close to it again, rather than Fulham.