Man Utd: Ince urges Ratcliffe to ‘hijack’ £60m deal to sign ‘perfect’ Casemiro ‘replacement’

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd transfer
Joao Palhinha and Adam Wharton.

Paul Ince has encouraged Manchester United to “hijack” Bayern Munich in the race to sign Joao Palhinha from Premier League rivals Fulham.

Palhinha was one of the best signings of the 2022 summer window as Fulham paid around £20m to sign the Portugal international from Sporting Lisbon.

Palhinha to Bayern finally?

The 28-year-old’s form did not go unnoticed as he was pursued by Bayern Munich last summer. This deal fell through on deadline day as Fulham were unable to identify a suitable replacement.

The defensive midfielder had another strong season in 2023/24 as Fulham comfortably avoided relegation from the Premier League.

Bayern Munich are in for Palhinha once again, but Man Utd and Barcelona are also in the running to sign the midfielder, who is valued at £60m.

The Red Devils will be busy during this summer’s transfer window and one of their priorities will be to sign a new defensive midfielder as Casemiro is expected to leave amid interest from Saudi Pro League clubs.

Man Utd have reportedly already ‘chosen’ their preferred replacement for Casemiro, but Ince thinks Palhinha would be “perfect” for the Premier League giants.

“Joao Palhinha could replace Casemiro next season, without a doubt,” Ince said.

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“Obviously he was going to go to Bayern Munich last summer which fell through on deadline day, but we know Fulham are prepared to sell with Bayern now back in for him.

‌”But I think if you look at the way he plays, I think he’s perfect for Manchester United. He gets about the park, he can pass, he can tackle, he’s strong.

“He’s got a good size about him. He’s got everything you need to be a success at Manchester United and I hope they hijack a move.”

Despite this, Ince is wary that “players have to be aligned” and it might be tough for Ten Hag to find the right teammate to “put alongside” Palhinha.

“The only question is about the players you put alongside him. That’s always the toughest thing because I think to be a good player, you’ve got to play with good players,’ the ex-England captain added.

“All the players have to be aligned in what the objective is that season. I don’t think that’s been the case with Manchester United.

“But I think he’s definitely the type of player that Manchester United should be looking at.”

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