Bayern Munich home in on Manchester United target João Palhinha

Bayern Munich home in on Manchester United target João Palhinha

Manchester United will need to act fast if they are to have any chance of signing Fulham ace João Palhinha this summer.

Back in December, The Peoples Person explained that Man United had their sights on the Portuguese midfielder.

Since then, speculation of a potential move to Old Trafford for Palhinha has only grown, with reports surfacing yesterday that United could be in pole position to sign the defensive midfielder this transfer window.

Following Casemiro’s decline in form this season as well as his switch to centre-back and Sofyan Amrabat’s underwhelming loan at United this past season, the club appears to be in dire need of a holding midfielder who can truly provide adequate support to United’s defence while driving the team’s midfield game.

If last season’s performances were anything to go by, Palhinha may be just the player that United needs in order to fill this role.

In 33 Premier League matches for Fulham, including 31 starts, the 28 year old proved to be a vital link in his team’s midfield, with 83% passing accuracy. He exhibited strong physicality, winning 61% of his total duels, while completing 55% of his attempted dribbles.

Most impressive was Palhinha’s ability to track back in aid of his defence. He made a superb 4.6 tackles per game along with 5.9 ball recoveries per match. (Sofascore)

The Portuguese midfielder clearly outperformed Casemiro, who scored lower in almost all metrics. The Brazilian equalled Palhinha’s passing accuracy, however, only won 52% of his duels and trailed narrowly with 53% dribbling. Casemiro only managed 3.3 tackles per game and 5.3 ball recoveries on average.

Before United fans get excited about his potential arrival at the club this summer, however, it appears that some fierce competition could prevent him from signing for Erik ten Hag’s side.

Fabrizio Romano posted on X that Bayern Munich are homing in on Palhinha, with the club confident that the player wants to move to the Bundesliga club.

“Bayern are not scared about other clubs linked with João Palhinha as they’ve an agreement with the player on personal terms, he strongly wants the move,” the post read.

“Talks with Fulham continue in order to agree on fee after initial proposal rejected.”

Should United wish to sign Palhinha as their new defensive midfielder, they’ll surely need to outbid Bayern in order to convince Fulham to pursue a deal with them. However, the German club to date has only bid half (£30 million) of the asking price (£60 million).

Still, before this is possible, United will need to offload some unwanted players in order to bolster their own limited transfer funds. With Scott McTominay potentially leaving for Galatasaray, some early sales will be vital before Palhinha can be pursued.

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