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Fulham complete Joao Palhinha signing on five-year deal

Fulham complete Joao Palhinha signing
© Reuters
Fulham complete the signing of Joao Palhinha on a five-year deal from Sporting Lisbon for an undisclosed fee, thought to be around £20m.

Fulham have completed the signing of Joao Palhinha for an undisclosed fee from Sporting Lisbon.

The 26-year-old has put pen to paper on a five-year contract at Craven Cottage with the option of a further 12 months on top of that, potentially keeping him at the club until 2028.

The deal to bring Palhinha to West London is thought to be worth around £20m, with Fulham fending off rumoured competition from Wolverhampton Wanderers for his signature.

"I'm very glad to be here. It's a big opportunity for me, for my career, to play in what is – in my opinion – the best league in the world," the defensive midfielder told the club's official website.

"I've signed with a great club. The club wanted me, and I chose the club, so I promise the fans that I will do my best, and I hope we can win so many things in this season."

Co-owner Tony Khan added: "Joao Palhinha has excelled in Portugal playing both club and international football. He's been one of our top targets in this window.

"While there were other prominent clubs aiming to secure his signature, we're thrilled that Joao chose to come here and that he wants to play for Fulham under our great coach Marco Silva, and we believe that Joao will be a valuable addition to strengthen the squad to compete this season in the Premier League."

Palhinha came through the ranks at Sporting Lisbon and helped them to win the Primeira Liga title for the first time since 2002 in 2020-21, earning a spot in the team of the season that year.

The 6ft 3in midfielder made 39 appearances across all competitions last year, scoring three times in the league.

Palhinha has also won 14 caps for Portugal and could feature for his country at the World Cup in Qatar later this year, with Portugal being drawn alongside Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea in Group H.

Palhinha becomes Fulham's first signing of the summer as they prepare for life back in the Premier League having won promotion from the Championship last season.

The Cottagers, who have also been linked with a move for Manor Solomon and are expected to further strengthen their squad this summer, finished two points clear at the top of the Championship table last term.

Marco Silva's side will travel to Palhinha's native Portugal for their pre-season tour later this month, before opening the new campaign at home to last season's runners-up Liverpool on August 6.

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