‘For sure’ – Romano confirms Arsenal interest in Liverpool target; £80m January deal will be difficult

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

Trusted transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano has confirmed Arsenal’s interest in Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha, but a January deal will be tough to secure.

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

Palhinha even travelled to Munich for a medical, but the German giants were unable to complete the paperwork before the deadline and he ended up staying at Fulham.

Bayern remain interested in signing Palhinha in January, but recent reports suggest that they will face competition from Premier League clubs.

As previously noted by Football365, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is a huge admirer of Palhinha, while Liverpool are also interested in signing him.

It’s no secret that Arteta would like to sign a new centre-mid in January to provide cover for Declan Rice, but any new Arsenal signings could depend on whether they sell exit-linked players such as Thomas Partey.

Palhinha has made 13 appearances in the Premier League this season, scoring two goals in the process.

Fulham consider the 28-year-old to be one of, if not their most important player and certainly won’t let him leave on the cheap.

According to Romano, Arsenal could struggle to afford Palhinha’s price tag this winter, but said “things will happen” regarding the Fulham star.

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“What I can confirm about Palhinha, this was around the media in recent days, is that there are also English clubs interested in Palhinha,” Romano said live on Kick. 

“One of those clubs is Arsenal. It is true that Arsenal appreciate the player. There are some people at the club who consider Palhinha a very good player. It’s one of the players they discussed internally.

“There are two issues. The first one is the age, he’s not a super young player. I think next year he will be 29.

“Also, the price. Arsenal cannot spend that amount of money, something like £70m-80m on one more midfielder after spending the big amount of money they invested on Declan Rice.”

“Bayern remain interested in Joao but yes, there are also UK clubs in the race now it’s true.

“He’s very expensive and that’s why clubs like Arsenal believe the investment is not easy at all for the January window, but things will happen around Joao, for sure.”

With that in mind, it will be interesting to see if the Gunners do test Fulham’s resolve with a bid for Palhinha in January. If they don’t, Bayern Munich or even Liverpool could swoop in for his signature.

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