After weeks of speculation about a potential transfer, Wolves have seemingly missed out on signing Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Palhinha, with the latest reports suggesting that he is set to join Fulham.
Wolves were reportedly on the brink of signing the Portugal international last month but have seen their move for the 26-year-old hijacked by the Cottagers, with the promoted Londoners clearly the more decisive of the two clubs in any negotiation process.
Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that Palhinha will now make the move to Craven Cottage rather than to Molineux this summer, as he wrote on Twitter: “Done deal, confirmed. João Palhinha joins Fulham as expected – contracts now signed between clubs for €22m total fee, add-ons included.”
Considering how long the Palhinha links have been going on, fans will surely have been hoping that a deal could have been concluded, but Bruno Lage’s side have lost out in the negotiations to promoted Fulham, which undoubtedly comes as a blow to the Molineux boss.
The 26-year-old could have offered some real physicality in Wolves’ midfield, as last season saw him average three tackles per game in the Portuguese top-flight, more than any Old Gold player managed in the Premier League.
With the futures of Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves at the club still in doubt, midfield reinforcements should be a priority for Wolves this summer, and Palhinha certainly would have fit that bill.
Therefore, supporters will surely be fuming that a deal could not be done for Palhinha, and if he goes on to be a success at Fulham next season, letting the Cottagers win the race could prove to be a big mistake by the Wolves board.