Man Utd want Joao Palhinha but face transfer battle with FIVE Premier League rivals including Arsenal and Chelsea
MANCHESTER UNITED are eyeing Fulham star Joao Palhinha to beef up their midfield this summer.
United, Newcastle, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are all monitoring the Portuguese.
Joao Palhinha is set to be at the centre of a massive transfer battle this summerAlamy
But boss Marco Silva is determined to resist bids for the star.
Fulham paid an initial £17million to sign Palhinha from Sporting Lisbon last year but his performances so far in this campaign will have more than doubled his value to £40m-plus.
He has made more tackles than any midfielder in the big five leagues in Europe and has been the heartbeat of Silva’s side as they chase qualification for Uefa competition next season.
Palhinha’s price tag is also pushed up by the fact that he still has more than four years left on his contract, with the club holding another year’s option.
Because of his age – he will turn 28 in July – the Fulham star may not be the first choice of top clubs who have a policy of signing younger players.
Liverpool are also said to be confident of signing Palhinha’s Portugal team-mate Matheus Nunes from Wolves, and possibly compatriot Ruben Neves, to revamp their midfield.
But Moises Caicedo, another target for the Reds as well as for Chelsea and Arsenal, has signed a new contract with Brighton that will send his price tag soaring.
And even if the Ecuador international leaves the south coast, only one club will be able to sign him.
BETTING SPECIAL – BEST FOOTBALL BETTING SITES IN THE UK
So Palhinha will be high on the list of candidates as the biggest clubs in England look to strengthen their options in the middle of the pitch.
But he will not be available to Fulham for today’s clash with Arsenal because he is serving the second game of a two-match suspension for racking up ten yellow cards.