Fulham have rejected an offer in the region of £45million ($58.8m) from West Ham United for midfielder Joao Palhinha.

West Ham are looking to strengthen their midfield after club captain Declan Rice departed for Arsenal in a £105m deal but are not optimistic after seeing their initial bid for Palhinha rebuffed.

Fulham, meanwhile, are keen to retain Palhinha for the upcoming season, with the 28-year-old being one of Marco Silva’s standout players in the previous campaign. The west London are also in a strong negotiating position, as he has four years to run on a five-year deal he signed last summer.

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Palhinha missed only three Premier League games — all due to suspension — for Fulham in 2022-23 as he helped Silva’s side to a 10th-placed finish.

He signed from Sporting Lisbon for a fee thought to be worth €20million (£17.4m; $21.6m). There had previously been interest from Wolves at the time, but in the end, Fulham were given a free run at the Portugal international.

Palhinha made 40 appearances across all competitions last season and scored four goals.

Should he depart Fulham, Palhinha could become West Ham’s second signing of the summer following the arrival of Sean Moore from Cliftonville.



Fulham’s player of the season: Joao Palhinha, the master destroyer

(Photo: Clive Rose/Getty Images)

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