FulhamSport

Fulham’s Palhinha has to re-centre focus after Bayern Munich deal collapses

Fulham fans were celebrating on transfer window day after Joao Palhinha’s transfer to Bayern Munich collapsed – but it now remains to see how that affects the midfield powerhouse.

The Whites cleared the Portuguese international to fly out to Germany for his medical after agreeing a fee but the plug was pulled after they could not land a replacement.

Fulham did sign Alex Iwobi from Everton but also failed to secure a striker, despite allowing Aleksandar Mitrovic to join Al-Hilal for a club record fee.

Palhinha’s brother Goncalo, who acts as the 28-year-old’s agent, has talked about Bayern reactivating the deal in January.

“They (Fulham) didn’t kill the dream, they just postponed it,’ he posted on his social media.

“Words of appreciation, recognition and thanks to the entire Bayern structure. The affection for the club in our family will remain forever, even though my brother didn’t sign.”

Bayern head coach Thomas Tuchel has refused to be drawn on Palhinha’s long-term future.

“I have no opinion on that,” said the former Chelsea boss. “There’s no point in thinking about it now. He plays at Fulham and we play here without him.

“In winter we have to see. Things change sometimes, you can’t predict that.”

Fulham head coach Marco Silva described it as one of Palhinha’s “toughest days of his life”. Silva added: “He had the fantastic season last season and he’s always a player that gives 100 per cent for the shirt – but he had a big chance to go to one of the biggest clubs in the world and he was really close.

“You can imagine the impact that has on a football player when these type of things happen. He is going to need support from all of us – the coaching staff, our fans and his team-mates.”

Winger Anthony Knockaert has joined Valenciennes after agreeing a mutual termination of his contract.

The 31-year-old initially signed on loan from Brighton in 2019 with the Whites making it a permanent move in July 2020.

Knockaert had loans at Forest, Huddersfield and Greek outfit Volos.

PICTURE: PA

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