Fulham shocked everyone around the football world when they announced the news of midfielder Joao Palhinha signing a contract extension with the club on Friday night.
The Portuguese has signed a deal that will keep him at Craven Cottage until 2028, despite already having a deal that ran till 2027. The new deal also contains the option to extend the contract for a further year until 2029.
Not too long ago, Palhinha was a breath away from signing for the German champions Bayern Munich on the last day of the summer transfer window.
The player had reportedly even completed a medical in Munich but the deal fell through at the final moments of the transfer window after Fulham failed to find a replacement in time.
Some reports also suggested that the move may have collapsed as Fulham demanded a £70 million transfer fee but Bayern were only ready to pay £60 million.
All reports from around the UK and Germany ever since the move fell through have suggested that the Bavarian giants will be going in for the midfielder again in the January transfer window and the player also maintains his interest in joining them.
But this latest contract extension has contradicted all these reports and many observers have questioned Palhinha’s decision to sign a new contract at Fulham if Bayern remain interested in him.
“This signing of a new contract demonstrates where my focus and commitment is at this moment! There has been a lot of talk about my future these last few weeks,” the player wrote on Instagram after signing the new deal.
He also addressed the failed move to Germany in an interview with Fulham’s website, saying: “I can’t lie, in football, we all have dreams and those are to play in the Champions League and for the best clubs in the world. People need to see and understand that as well but I also want to say I have all respect and I am really happy to be here as well.”
The 28-year-old is reported to be getting a huge salary increase in his new contract with the Cottagers who have managed to convince the Portuguese international to put pen to paper.
The Cottagers also announced midfielder Harrison Reed’s contract extension alongside Palhinha in the same social media post.
It is unsure whether or not Bayern and Palhinha still remain interested in a move in January but Fulham will surely make it even harder for the German giants to get a hold of their midfielder now.