Tottenham Hotspur have registered an interest in signing Joao Palhinha this month…
That’s according to Football Insider, who claim that the Sporting Lisbon midfielder has been targeted in an attempt to bolster Nuno Santo’s engine room.
It’s thought that Spurs have been in contact over a potential deal to sign Palhinha, who is a player that is ‘hugely admired’ by the Portuguese head coach.
The 26-year-old has a whopping €60m (£51m) release clause but could now be prised away from the Primeira Liga giants for as little as £14m, though the Lilywhites will have to battle Nuno’s former club, Wolves, for his signature.
As mentioned by the report, Palhina would be a player that the 47-year-old boss would love to sign this window.
Standing at a towering 6 foot 3, the six-time Portugal international is primarily a defensive anchorman but he can also fill in at centre-back, in some ways similar to how Nuno utilised Leander Dendoncker at Molineux.
Palhinha rated out as Sporting’s fourth-best player in 2020/21 with an average WhoScored rating of 7.21. He managed to win three aerial duels per game, highlighting his physically imposing statute, as well as his 3.3 tackles and 1.5 interceptions per outing, proving to be an animal at the base of midfield.
By comparison, this outranks Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who largely played in a similar role last season, as he managed only 2.6 tackles and 1.3 interceptions each Premier League match, via WhoScored.
Portuguese football expert Marino Peixoto described Palhinha as having a “simply phenomenal” season and that his ability to break up play was “astounding.”
Whilst Sporting boss Ruben Amorim once dubbed him a “special player” to MaisFutebol (via Manchester News Today).
Considering Spurs could sign a player of this calibre for around £35m less than his release clause, Spurs supremo Fabio Paratici could well stumble across an absolute steal.
He should look to complete a bargain swoop for Palhinha in the coming weeks.