Tottenham have learned the price of key defensive midfielder target Joao Palhinha, as manager Nuno Espirito Santo looks to stamp his authority on Spurs’ current side.
Palhinha made only two appearances for Portugal at Euro 2020 as they were knocked out in the round of 16 by number one ranked team in the world Belgium.
The 26-year-old did feature more heavily for his club Sporting Lisbon last season, making 38 appearances in all competitions and winning the title with Cristiano Ronaldo’s old club.
As a result of his consistency and Espirito Santo’s knowledge of the Portuguese league, Palhinha has now become a key target for the north London club, as they look to freshen up the squad which finished in seventh place in the final Premier League standings last campaign.
Portuguese outlet Record have provided a fresh update on the deal which could be on between the Lisbon-based club and Tottenham this summer.
They are saying that Palhinha has a release clause of €60million (£50m) in his current contract, meaning this could be a blow for the north London club’s hopes of signing Palhinha.
With many areas of the squad to strengthen this summer, which include at the central defence and upfront, £50m may be just out of budget for Daniel Levy and co. Especially considering when you have Premier League midfielders out there who cost roughly the same or even a little less.
Ruben Neves and Yves Bissouma are two midfield options who are cheaper, and arguably would provide better value for money when it comes to quality, Premier League experience and what they would give to this new Tottenham side.
Nevertheless, Espirito Santo has the final decision on who he wants the new defensive midfielder to be in his Spurs outfit. And if statistics are anything to go by, then Palhinha could provide some much-needed tenacity in the midfield area.
According to Fbref.com, In the whole of the Primeira Liga last season, Palhinha was ranked top for tackles won by any player (1st- 68).
He was also ranked in the top ten for fouls drawn (4th- 73), demonstrating his ability to retain the ball well in order to win fouls for his team.
It remains to be seen whether Tottenham meet the high release clause for the Portuguese International, but whoever the club do decide to pursue in the midfield position will have to fit the new manager’s style of play, just like Palhinha does.
The likes of Harry Winks and Tanguy Ndombele are two players who could potentially depart the club this summer, therefore providing the funds to sign the Sporting Lisbon star.
Source by Football London