fulham midfielder joao palhinha
Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha.
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Silva not surprised by new Joao Palhinha deal amid Bayern Munich transfer interest

Fulham manager Marco Silva says he was not surprised to see Joao Palhinha agree to a new contract after a deadline day transfer to Bayern Munich fell through.

The Portuguese midfielder completed his medical and partook in a photoshoot as he was on the cusp of a £55m move, but the Cottagers could not find a replacement signing before the window shut.

Palhinha missed the 5-1 thrashing to Manchester City the following day, but he returned to the starting lineup against Luton Town, helping the side to a clean sheet and an important win over the Hatters.

The result came after a week in which Palhinha and Harrison Reed both signed new contracts with Fulham. The new deal improves the 28-year-old’s salary and runs until 2028, with an option for a further year.

“It is great news for us, it was not a great two months for us with a lot of noise around the club,” Silva said after the game on Saturday. “It is a clear consequence of last season with players that performed well being linked with other clubs.

“But I am really pleased for Joao and he showed how he is so important for us, how he is a top player and essential for how we want to play. That is probably a surprise for many, but not for me.”

Palhinha joined the club for just £20 million from Sporting Club last summer, signing a five-year contract. He made more tackles than any other player in the Premier League in 2022/23 and scored a late equaliser against Arsenal last month.

“I feel happy,” Palhinha told FFCtv upon signing his new contract. “A lot of history happened these few weeks for me, you heard a lot of things about my future, but I’m just focused on my work at Fulham.”

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