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Arsenal 'join race for Fulham's Joao Palhinha'

Arsenal 'join race for Fulham's Joao Palhinha'
© Reuters
Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha is reportedly attracting interest from Arsenal, who may push to sign the Portugal international during the summer transfer window.

Arsenal have reportedly entered the race to sign Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha, with Bayern Munich also interested in acquiring the services of the player.

The 28-year-old remained at Craven Cottage despite nearly completing a move away in the summer transfer window, and has since played 11 matches in the Premier League for Marco Silva's men.

Palhinha has netted twice in the league from a defensively-minded midfield role, making the net ripple in draws with Mikel Arteta's Gunners and Brighton & Hove Albion.

Despite intense competition in his national side's engine room, the former Sporting Lisbon man has been a regular fixture for Portugal since making his debut in March 2021, earning 24 caps for Roberto Martinez's side.

According to journalist Connor Humm, Arsenal have drawn up a list of midfield targets for the upcoming January transfer window and for the summer.

Fulham's Joao Palhinha in action with Manchester United's Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Bruno Fernandes on November 4, 2023© Reuters

The report claims that the Gunners have included Fulham enforcer Palhinha on that shortlist of players, although the North Londoners are yet to make any approach towards the Cottagers or the player's representatives.

It is understood that any move for the Portuguese would occur at the conclusion of the 2023-24 term, meaning that we will not be seeing the midfielder lining up alongside the likes of Declan Rice and Martin Odegaard at the start of the next calendar year.

The Gunners are not alone in their admiration of Palhinha, though, with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich still in the hunt for the 28-year-old's services.

Thomas Tuchel's side made a late push for Palhinha during the summer transfer window, however a switch to Germany for the player collapsed on deadline day.

After failing to seal the move to the Bavarian giants, the midfielder agreed to fresh terms at Craven Cottage, meaning that he is now contracted to the West Londoners until 2028.

Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel before the match on November 24, 2023© Reuters

With over four years left on Palhinha's deal, Fulham are in a good position to drive a hard bargain with any potential suitors for the player in the New Year or next summer.

It is believed that Silva's men are scouting for Palhinha replacements should he depart the club in the near future, with Fluminense's Andre reportedly catching the eye.

The 22-year-old has appeared 167 times for the Brazilian giants since making his debut in June 2020 and is said to be attracting interest from the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

After coming out on the losing side of a seven-goal thriller at Anfield against Liverpool on Sunday, Palhinha and his Fulham teammates will be hoping to return to winning ways as they welcome Nottingham Forest to the capital on Wednesday night.

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Fulham's Joao Palhinha celebrates scoring their second goal on August 26, 2023
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5Tottenham HotspurSpurs25145652381447
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd2514293534144
7Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2510874840838
8Newcastle UnitedNewcastle251141053411237
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham2510693644-836
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves25105103940-135
15Crystal Palace2567122844-1625
16Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest2566133244-1224
18Luton TownLuton2555153551-1620
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2534182265-4313

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