West Ham in for Fulham’s Joao Palhinha

West Ham United are preparing an approach for Fulham’s Joao Palhinha after his impressive first season in England.

Fulham finished 10th in the league this past season after having just been promoted to the top flight. This was a successful season for the club that many had predicted to get relegated at the start of the season.

At the heart of Fulham’s impressive showing was defensive midfielder Palhinha. The Portuguese joined from his boyhood club Sporting Lisbon for £20 million in one of the best bargains of the 2023 summer transfer window.

He played 35 games for Fulham in his debut season and has now unsurprisingly attracted huge interest from around Europe.

West Ham United are one such club who have enquired about the Portuguese international as a potential replacement for club captain Declan Rice, who seems to be heading to Arsenal.

But journalist Fabrizio Romano reported that the deal for Palhinha would be a difficult one to complete for the Hammers. This is due to Fulham’s unwillingness to let go of a player that they not only just signed last summer but also is extremely important to them.

Fulham aspire to take the next step and perhaps take West Ham’s place as one of the English clubs competing in European competitions. It is difficult to see them selling their most important player to possibly their nearest rivals.

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Palhinha signed a 5-year contract with Fulham when he joined them last summer and even if the Cottagers were willing to sell, they would ask for a substantial fee to let their man go.

Some reports suggest that European giants Barcelona are also interested in the 27-year-old as they look to replace their outgoing club captain and legend Sergio Busquets. This would be another hurdle for the Hammers as the Blaugrana would surely be a more attractive proposition for the player.

West Ham are hoping to get back to the standards they have set under boss David Moyes after a disappointing domestic season where they were fighting relegation.

They did however manage to win their first piece of silverware in over four decades as they claimed the Europa Conference League beating Italian club Fiorentina in the final. This also helped them qualify for next season’s Europa League even after finishing in 14th place.

They will be hoping to fight higher up the table next season but losing Declan Rice might make their task very difficult. But they will most likely receive a huge transfer sum for the Englishman and will be looking to use that money to strengthen their squad accordingly.