Manchester United are stepping up interest in Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Palhinha.
According to the Mirror, United are interested in the defensive midfielder who has just signed a new deal with his club. His new deal runs until 2026 but is understood that Lisbon added the contract to increase their bargaining power on the player.
The release clause in the deal is close to £50million but Sporting will listen to offers north of £20m, with performance-based add-ons with United scouts are understood to have watched Palhinha in at least eight matches this season.
João Palhinha’s contract with his agent, Pedro Traquino, ended yesterday and will not be renewed. For now, on paper at least, he will remain agent-less. However it is expected Jorge Mendes will play a large role in any potential negotiation for him to 🏴 or 🇪🇸 this summer pic.twitter.com/EfILkQb7tC
— Sporting160 EN (@Sporting160_EN) February 22, 2022
Reports from Portugal suggest that United will be moving for the player in the summer as they seek to address their midfield worries with Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay not thought to be able to control the United midfield as required by the coaches.
Apart from United, Laliga side Atletico Madrid are also interested in the player but it is said that they would struggle to meet the player’s demands.