Former Liverpool defender Glen Johnson has urged his former club to sign Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha as a Jude Bellingham alternative.Palhinha, 27, has turned a lot of heads with his gritty performances at the heart of midfield since arriving from Sporting CP for £20 million last summer. He has netted four goals in 28 matches for Fulham so far.
A right-footed defensive midfielder blessed with passing and tackling, the 18-cap Portugal midfielder has popped up on the Reds’ radar of late. Jurgen Klopp’s side are prepared to meet the ace’s £60 million price tag in the upcoming summer transfer window, as per Daily Mail.
Speaking to midnite.com, Johnson heaped praise on Palhinha for his fine outings for Fulham in the ongoing 2022-23 season. He elaborated:
“Joao Palhinha has been looking great for Fulham this season. He has been a key part of Fulham’s great form at the moment. A lot of the big clubs can benefit from such a technical player and from what I have seen so far, I like him. We may have this wrong but there is a reason why the big clubs are looking at him.”
Urging Liverpool to choose Palhinha over Bellingham, Johnson added:
“Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice are obviously still favoured targets but you will be spending less than a quarter of the money for Palhinha than Rice or Bellingham. There is obviously more hype around them because they are English and super young. He could be a cheaper option if Bellingham doesn’t come.”
However, Fulham boss Marco Silva has insisted that the Portuguese is content at the club. When asked about the midfielder, he responded:
“He’s happy here. As before, it’s the same with players as managers, it’s impossible to control what people write. Whether players are linked with clubs, or if there’s interest. To be honest, it’s something we don’t lose time thinking about. With Joao, it’s the same.”
Apart from Palhinha and Bellingham, Liverpool are also keeping tabs on the likes of Mason Mount, Matheus Nunes and Ruben Neves.
Liverpool eyeing £18 million move to sign 20-year-old Croatian midfielder: Reports
According to ECHO, Liverpool have identified Red Bull Salzburg star Luka Sucic as one of their midfield targets for the upcoming summer. The Anfield outfit are keen to trigger his £18 million release clause.
Sucic, 20, has helped his side lift two consecutive Austrian Bundesliga titles and two back-to-back OFB Cup trophies. He has scored 13 goals and contributed 10 assists in 96 overall matches for Salzburg so far.
A left-footed playmaker blessed with passing and shooting, the four-cap Croatia star has been touted as the “new Luka Modric”. He was also named in Croatia’s 26-man squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.