Fulham are making plans to replace star midfielder Joao Palhinha in January with Bayern Munich ready to rekindle their interest, 90min understands.
Palhinha almost joined Bayern for just shy of £60m in the summer and was in Munich on deadline ready to put pen-to-paper on a contract, but Fulham could not secure a replacement and so pulled the plug on the transfer.
Since the move collapsed, Palhinha has signed a new long-term deal at Craven Cottage that makes him the club’s highest paid player and Fulham have denied reports that this contract includes a release clause.
Despite the immense disappointment of his failed move, the 28-year-old has since returned to action and is once again showing outstanding form.
90min understands that while Fulham are insisting they do not want to lose Palhinha, they are aware Bayern are still interested and the midfielder remains keen on such a move. For that reason, the Cottagers are looking at a number of midfielders who they could their attention to in 2024.
Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips remains a player that Fulham appreciate along with Tottenham’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, while Fluminense’s Andre is a player they have tried to sign on more than one occasion over the past year. Whether any of those players would be attainable in January remains to be seen, but Fulham again know they can’t allow allow Palhinha to leave without some sort of replacement lined up.
Bayern’s continued interest in Palhinha has been underlined by the club’s sporting director Christoph Freund. Speaking to BILD this week, he said: “Of course, he is still on our radar. The club worked intensively with Palhinha in the summer.
“I was there for the bit on the last, strange day of the transfer window, but you can’t say yet what will happen. We are generally exploring the market.”
Palhinha has also spoken about what a possible January transfer and he has again revealed his desire to get to a ‘higher’ place in the game.
“I’m 28, but I know I can go higher and I’m looking to the future with that ambition,” he told O Jogo.
Speaking about his failed move to Bayern, he added: “I don’t know what will happen in the future. Obviously, it’s really affected me and my family, but that’s all in the past, I don’t want to think about it too much.
“It’s a great source of pride, you know what happened. In my life everything that has happened has been for a reason, I like to think of it like that.
“The future will tell me whether what happened was really what had to happen or not, but only the future will show me that.
“I want to keep going the way I’ve been going, nobody has given me anything throughout my career, and everything I’ve achieved is down to my worth, my work. I hope it stays that way. “
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