Erik ten Hag identifies Fulham star as top summer target - report

Erik ten Hag
(Image credit: Getty)

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has identified Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha as his top midfield target this summer.

That is according to reports in The Sun, who believe the Red Devils will face stiff competition for the 27 year old from clubs including Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur

Palhinha only arrived at Craven Cottage ahead of this term, but his combative displays at the base of Fulham's midfield have made him one of the standout stars of the season. The Portugal international has made more tackles (101) than any other Premier League player, while also proving himself a danger from set pieces. Palhinha has chipped in with three goals in his debut campaign in England. 

Ten Hag is thought to be a huge admirer, and wants to add quality and depth to a midfield which has been seriously impacted by injuries and suspensions in recent months. The loss of Christian Eriksen, through injury, and Casemiro, for disciplinary reasons, have recently robbed the Dutchman of his favoured midfield pairing. 

It is felt Ten Hag believes Palhinha would add a decent blend of silk and steel to his current options, with the player's destructive qualities, and confidence in possession, providing good cover for both Eriksen and Casemiro. 

Fulham won't want to sell, however, and any bid will have to take into account the Cottager's €20 million outlay on their star midfielder last July. Palhinha has more than four years remaining on his contract at the West London club. 

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Ed McCambridge
Staff Writer

Ed is a staff writer at FourFourTwo, working across the magazine and website. A German speaker, he’s been working as a football reporter in Berlin since 2015, predominantly covering the Bundesliga and Germany's national team. Favourite FFT features include an exclusive interview with Jude Bellingham following the youngster’s move to Borussia Dortmund in 2020, a history of the Berlin Derby since the fall of the Wall and a celebration of Kevin Keegan’s playing career.