Newcastle United: Magpies eyeing Joao Palhinha
Newcastle United are reportedly battling clubs from the Premier League‘s ‘big six’ to sign Fulham defensive midfielder Joao Palhinha this summer.
The Lowdown: Midfielder wanted
Newcastle have been linked with moves for the likes of Lille’s Carlos Baleba and Chelsea’s Mason Mount, suggesting that they would like to sign a new midfielder in the summer.
They decided to let Jonjo Shelvey go to Nottingham Forest in the January transfer window, while both Matt Ritchie and Matty Longstaff are currently being allowed to run their contracts down, meaning that a space will open up in Eddie Howe‘s squad for a midfielder to come in.
The Latest: Palhinha interest
According to The Sun, the Magpies are just one of a number of clubs ‘monitoring’ Palhinha’s situation ahead of a potential summer move.
Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are all also interested in his signature, whose market value has risen to over £40m since Fulham bought him for just £17m last summer.
The Verdict: No-brainer
Signing a player of Palhinha’s quality is surely a no-brainer for the Tynesiders if they want to advance in their long-term project.
Hailed as a ‘sensational’ player and an ‘artist’ by journalist Josh Bunting, the six-foot-three-colossus has been a standout midfielder not just in the Premier League, but in Europe as well, ranking in the top 10% for tackles, clearances and aerials won per game.
At 27 years of age, the Toon would be signing a player in his prime, and with the top-flight experience already under his belt, this seems like a very smart signing to make.