“He’s great but it’s part of the business” – Liverpool and Bayern Munich target told he can leave this summer

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Liverpool and Bayern Munich are currently vying to attract Xabi Alonso from Bayer Leverkusen as their potential next manager. However, another competition is emerging over a prominent midfielder.

While legendary Anfield midfielder Alonso remains Liverpool’s primary target to succeed the departing Jurgen Klopp this summer, rumours suggest that the Spaniard may prefer staying in Germany and transitioning from Leverkusen to Bayern instead.

The German powerhouse are set to replace Thomas Tuchel at the end of the season, although it was the former Chelsea manager who was instrumental in Bayern’s pursuit of Reds target Joao Palhinha last summer. Despite Tuchel’s impending departure, Football Insider reports that Bayern are still keen on securing a deal for the Portuguese international this summer.

This development spells trouble for Liverpool, who consider the Fulham midfielder ideal for bolstering their defensive midfield position.

While Wataru Endo was recruited last summer to mitigate the absence of Fabinho and Jordan Henderson, and despite his standout performance in the Carabao Cup final victory over Chelsea, the 31-year-old Japanese international has three years on Palhinha.

The Fulham standout appeared set to make a move to Bavaria late in the transfer window, as Marco Silva eyed Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg as his replacement. However, when the Tottenham midfielder had a change of heart regarding a move across London, Fulham had no choice but to cancel Palhinha’s sale.

Luis Diaz of Liverpool up against Joao Palhinha of Fulham.

Liverpool and Bayern target Joao Palhinha on the move this summer?

Previously believed to be untouchable at Craven Cottage, Fulham’s vice-chairman Tony Khan recently acknowledged that the club will “have to consider” reasonable offers for their star midfielder. This revelation comes as Arsenal and Chelsea also express interest in securing his signature.

Khan told talkSPORT: “He’s a great player for Fulham, we love having him and I want Joao to stay with us as long as possible. But it’s part of the business any time you sign a player potentially you know you’re hopefully going to grow their value and that might mean people are going to come in.”

Khan’s acknowledgment comes despite Palhinha signing a new five-year contract in September 2023, with Fulham retaining the option to extend the deal by an additional 12 months.

This season, Palhinha has featured in 28 matches across all competitions, scoring three goals and providing one assist, and unsurprisingly he is on top of the majority of defensive stats for midfielders.

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