According to transfer news from A Bola (h/t Daily Mail), Tottenham are ready to make a move for Joao Palhinha. The Portuguese midfielder from Sporting CP is said to be admired by Nuno Espirito Santo and he has given the all-clear for Spurs to pursue him. Wolves are also said to be after him.
Rising through the club’s youth ranks, he was sent on loan spells earlier in his career to improve with game time but he failed to cement his place in Sporting’s senior squad. He was then sent on a two-year loan spell to Braga in August 2018 and he immediately established himself as a key figure of the squad.
On returning to the squad last season, he made himself an indispensable asset to the side as Sporting clinched their first league title in 19 years. Palhinha’s good form also earned him a call up to the Portugal side for the Euros. Although he did not get a lot of game time, he showed flashes of his quality in the few moments he got.
Spurs boss Nuno Espirito Santo is said to be an admirer of the 26-year-old defensive midfielder. He is said to have given Spurs the ‘go-ahead’ for this transfer. Palhinha has a release clause of £50m but could be available for a lower fee. A powerful midfielder, Palhinha can also play as a defender if needed.
Palhinha shares quite some similarities with Piere-Emile Hojbjerg. Both are rugged midfielders who can protect the backline all while linking defence and attack with ease. Signing Palhinha can be a real masterstroke and it would add an additional level of solidity to the midfield.