Fabrizio Romano confirms Arsenal want to sign £70m star who West Ham wanted as Declan Rice’s replacement

Fabrizio Romano has now confirmed that Arsenal have an interest in Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha, a player West Ham United wanted to sign to replace Declan Rice in the summer.

The Gunners are currently five points clear at the top of the Premier League table. They have had a good season so far, but they could still do with a new midfielder in January. Romano says people at Arsenal like Palhinha.
Fabrizio Romano says Arsenal are interested in Joao Palhinha

Numerous rumours have been going around on social media over the last few days that Arsenal are interested in Joao Palhinha, and Fabrizio Romano has just confirmed it.

The Portuguese midfielder was heavily linked with a move to Bayern Munich in the summer. A move even looked imminent on transfer deadline day, but it collapsed right at the end.
Palhinha had to return to Craven Cottage and has since signed a new contract. However, there is a big chance he could leave Fulham in January.

Romano has now revealed that Arsenal definitely have an interest in Palhinha, but there are two factors that could stop the deal from going through.

He said on Kick: “What I can confirm about Palhinha, this was around the media in the recent days, is that there are also English clubs interested in Palhinha. One of those clubs is Arsenal.
“It is true that Arsenal appreciate the player. There are some people at the club who consider Palhinha a very good player. It’s one of the players they discussed internally.

“(But) There are two issues – the first one is the age, he’s not a super young player. I think next year he will be 29. Also, the price. Arsenal cannot spend that amount of money, something like £70-80 million on one more midfielder after spending the big amount of money they invested on Declan Rice.”
West Ham wanted Palhinha to replace Declan Rice

One of the biggest transfers of the summer was Declan Rice to Arsenal, and losing their skipper was a big blow for West Ham.
The Irons had to replace Rice, and they were linked with a whole host of names. One of them was Fulham star Joao Palhinha.

Journalist Dean Jones claimed on the Ranks FC Ultras Podcast at the time that West Ham genuinely believed that Fulham would cave and let Palhinha join them, but that wasn’t the case.

The Hammers are unlikely to be able to sign Palhinha in January, but Arsenal definitely could. However, he will not be cheap.

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