Sporting look set to hammer a nail in the coffin of clubs keen to sign Joao Palhinha by offering him a bumper pay rise for his loyalty and performances.
Tottenham and Wolves were both linked with the 26-year-old over the summer. But it was Spurs who appeared to show most interest, with rumours of a deadline-day effort to secure his services. Nothing materialised and the Portugal international remained at Estadio Jose Alvalade.
The north Londoners were way out in their valuation of the defensive midfielder. It was rumoured that they offered only half the Portuguese club’s asking price for the rangy schemer.
Everton were said to be interested while Leicester City were also mentioned in connection with the player. It is thought clubs might try again in January, with Spurs hoping he was not offered new terms in the meantime.
That still represents a fraction of what he could earn in the Premier League club. But Sporting have shown that they value the star and want him around for the foreseeable future.
Palhinha could have been gamble worth taking
Palhinha’s release clause was said to be in the region of £51m. Clubs baulked at that figure and it was reported that no bids in excess of £25m were received.
While his price tag did seem steep, it may have been a wise investment with what he can do on the pitch. The man with eight Portugal caps is known as a no-nonsense player who protects the back four.
Wolves could certainly do with that type of player while Spurs have proved brittle in their past couple of games. Nuno is an admirer of the former Braga loan star.
The Tottenham chief tried to sign him while in charge of Wolves. And the capital outfit might try to flex their financial muscles in the future with another attempt to get him on board.
But, after being part of Sporting’s first title triumph in 19 years, Palhinha now seems settled in his current surroundings. The one bonus for Spurs is the fact that he is known to admire the Premier League.
There could be scope for another assault on his signature next summer. However Sporting may well have added a few euros to his value by then.