When João Palhinha completed his medical checks at Bayern Munich on deadline day last summer, the Portuguese international was spotted with the jersey and waiting to be announced.
However, the deal failed to get over the line before the deadline, just minutes too late.
If the transfer with Fulham did go through, Bayern were due to pay €65m plus add-ons that would have taken the total fee up to €74m, according to Christian Falk.
Since the failed transfer, Fulham have extended the midfielder’s contract until 2028 and are now likely to ask for even more money should Bayern wish to sign the player again.
This raises the question, is purchasing Palhinha in January a viable option for Bayern?
My simple answer is no, it is not. Bayern have indicated they wish to strengthen their squad in the winter, particularly in defence where they are low on numbers, partially due to injury.
The German champions would still be keen to sign Trevoh Chalobah from Chelsea, as the 24-year-old can offer cover in central defence and at right-back. However, there is a reluctance to go in for their long-term target due to his current injury, which has kept him out since the start of the season.
In terms of defensive midfielders, Bayern are also interested in Nice’s Khéphren Thuram and Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips.
At 22, Thuram is six years Palhinha’s younger and has a current market value of €40m, according to TransferMarkt.
What’s more, City’s Phillips is keen on a move away from the Premier League champions as he seeks regular football ahead of next summer’s European Championships in Germany. The English international’s current market value is €28m, as per TransferMarkt.
Already, there are two cheaper and solid options for Bayern for the defensive midfield role. This would surely be more tempting should they also wish to sign a defender.
GGFN | Jamie Allen