Liverpool, Arsenal to battle Bayern Munich for £60m Prem star in potentially season-defining move

Harry Watkinson
Liverpool and Arsenal linked Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha
Liverpool and Arsenal linked Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha

Liverpool and Arsenal are both reportedly interested in Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha, who is one of Bayern Munich’s top transfer targets.

The Portugal international came close to leaving Craven Cottage in the summer window when Bayern allegedly agreed on a £60m fee with the Cottagers.

Palhinha even flew to Munich for a medical, but the German giants were unable to finalise the paperwork for the deal before the deadline.

Bayern are likely to come back in for Palhinha in January. Reports suggest that Fulham still plan to sell the midfielder this winter despite him recently signing a new contract.

It now seems, however, that Liverpool and Arsenal could rival the Bundesliga champions for Palhinha’s signature.

According to the Daily Telegraph, several Premier League clubs are in the hunt for Palhinha, with Arsenal and Liverpool understood to be ‘monitoring Palhinha’s situation.’

Manchester United have also been linked with the talented 28-year-old in the past, so they too could throw their hat into the ring in January.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp completely revamped his midfield during the summer window but signing another number six is a priority, with Alexis Mac Allister currently playing in an unfamiliar role and Wataru Endo only thought to be a short-term solution.

READ MORE: Arsenal ‘serious’ about signing Serie A golden boy in major blow to Liverpool; Schmadtke loves him

Arsenal, on the other hand, need to sell players before they buy any more in January, but a new midfielder certainly wouldn’t go amiss as Mikel Arteta eyes a 100-point season.

Thomas Partey is unavailable until the New Year with an injury and will be playing in the Africa Cup of Nations in any case, which leaves Jorginho and Mohamed Elneny as Declan Rice’s only cover until he returns.

Therefore, bringing in Palhinha in January could prove to be a smart bit of business for the Gunners.

As mentioned, though, both Liverpool and Arsenal face strong competition from Bayern Munich.

In an interview last month, Bayern sporting director Christoph Freund confirmed that he remains keen on signing Palhinha.

“Of course he is still on our radar,” said Freund.

“The club worked intensively with Palhinha in the summer. I was there for a bit on the last, strange day of the transfer window. But you can’t say yet what will happen.”

Everything points towards Palhinha leaving Fulham in January at the moment. Whether he stays in the Premier League or moves abroad, however, still remains to be seen.

DON’T MISS: Arsenal, Liverpool ‘focus’ on £35m Man Utd target who is ‘expected’ to finalise 2024 transfer