Tottenham Hotspur have been told how much it’ll cost to land one of their mooted summer transfer targets…
What’s the word?
It’s thought that Spurs are battling Premier League rivals Wolves for the signature of Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Palhinha but they will have to stump up €60m (£51m), which is thought to be his release clause.
Nuno’s next Neves?
Perhaps most interestingly, Wolves’ reignited interest boils down to the future of Ruben Neves, who has been linked to the Lilywhites’ North London rivals Arsenal in recent months.
According to journalist Pedro Sepulveda, who was speaking on Fabrizio Romano’s Twitch stream this week, Palhinha will only be targeted by Wolves if his fellow countryman leaves and as Football FanCast have previously outlined, he’d be a perfect like-for-like successor.
Therefore, it isn’t unfair to suggest that if Spurs win the race, then Nuno may well get his own Neves on the hallowed Tottenham Hotspur Stadium turf next season.
Both players are quarterback-like presences in the engine room.
By comparison, Palhinha managed just shy of that in terms of passing, recording 83.4% and better tackling returns, with an average of 3.3 tackles per outing. That increased to 4.5 at Euro 2020, too, via WhoScored.
Nuno may already have a defensive beast in Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg but during his time at Wolves, he wasn’t afraid to double up on such an influence as Leander Dendoncker, who can also play at centre-back, was often deployed alongside Neves.
He could look to repeat this anchorman tandem by signing Palhinha, only further bolstering those potential comparisons.
Sporting boss Ruben Amorim claimed the 26-year-old powerhouse is a “special player” to MaisFutebol (via Manchester News Today), whilst Portuguese football expert Marino Peixoto added further weight to that argument, suggesting that he has had a “simply phenomenal season” for Lisbon last term.
A Transfermarkt valuation of £16.2m may be some way off his whopping £51m release clause but if he’s a player that Nuno wants, then it’ll be on Fabio Paratici and Daniel Levy to make it happen.
In Palhinha, the 47-year-old could well discover his new Neves.