EXCLUSIVE: Manchester City have turned their transfer attention away from Lucas Paqueta to another highly-rated Premier League midfielder who will cost less
Manchester City are planning a £50million swoop for Fulham ace Joao Palhinha in January.
The Portuguese central midfielder, 28, is considered the best option available for the English champions as they aim to strengthen that position going into the second half of the campaign.
With either Juventus or Bayern Munich expected to take Kalvin Phillips off City in the New Year window, Etihad boss Pep Guardiola wants to secure a superior replacement.
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Palhinha, under contract until June 2028, had been a target for Chelsea but their interest has cooled with under-pressure coach Mauricio Pochettino reluctant to add more players in that position.
And the same applies to Liverpool, who had also been heavily linked with the ex-Sporting player. But if that is good news for Fulham manager Marco Silva, who is desperate to retain Palhinha, City entering the equation is a significant concern.
Where does Palhinha rank amongst the best Prem midfielders? Let us know what you think in the comments section.
Another potential target for the Treble holders is rising Brazil midfielder Andre, 22. Irionically, the Fluminense star, valued at £30m, is also on the radar of Fulham – as they search for a long-term successor for Palhinha.
Andre won the first of his four Brazil caps in June when replacing West Ham’s Lucas Paqueta, who had been City’s top target last summer until an FA investigation into alleged betting breaches.
Paqueta has always denied any involvement but the controversy still scuppered a £70m deal to the Etihad. He was seen hugging Guardiola before West Ham hosted City at the London Stadium in September.
Palhinha, meanwhile, was all set to join Bayern in the last transfer window. But the £60m switch fell through as Fulham failed to find a replacement for him before the deadline.
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