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Tottenham considering João Palhinha to solve defensive problem


Tottenham Hotspur are coming off the back of a disappointing campaign that saw them finish eighth in the Premier League, so they’re expected to be active in the transfer market to bolster the squad in all areas.

Spurs didn’t have a problem scoring goals (70) but conceded far too many (63) in 38 league outings, so print version of The Sun (h/t The Boot Room) say Ange Postecoglou is after a defensive-midfielder that can protect the backline.

Tottenham loaned out Tanguy Ndombélé, Giovani Lo Celso and Harry Winks last season and aren’t expected to retain any of the trio this summer, so it’s little wonder they’re being linked with João Palhinha to potentially fill the void.

The 27-year-old spent most of his career at Sporting CP (2013 – 2022), making 21 appearances for the B team and 95 appearances for the first-team before joining Fulham last year.

Palhinha went on to feature 40 times in West London, scoring four goals, and helping Fulham finish in the top-10, so Tottenham have been paying attention. He averages more tackles per game (4.2) than any Spurs player and boasts more interceptions per game (1.3) than all but two of their first-teamers.

It’s easy to see why the Lilywhites would be keen on the Portuguese international, but he might be expensive. Fulham paid £17m for Palhinha in 2022 and have him tied down until 2027, and the Daily Mail says they Cottagers have slapped a £90m price tag on his head.

Tottenham signed Yves Bissouma from Brighton & Hove Albion in 2022 to join the likes of Oliver Skipp, Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur in midfield, but clearly the North London outfit need another defensive-minded player to ensure they aren’t leaking as many goals next season.

Whether Palhinha is willing to leave after just a year at Fulham is the question, however, as he’s publicly stated his happiness with the Cottagers this summer. Tottenham haven’t lodged any bid yet either, so it’s all speculation for now.

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