Thomas Tuchel still very much wants Bayern Munich to sign a defensive midfielder in the January transfer window, but it now looks like they will be out of the race to go in for Fulham’s João Palhinha again. They almost had a deal over the line for the Portuguese international in the final hours of the summer transfer window in Germany, but the transfer collapsed, partially because Fulham was unable to find an ample replacement midfielder for him.
Per new information from Sport Bild’s Tobi Altschäffl and Christian Falk (via @iMiaSanMia), Bayern is not going to be making another bid in excess of €65 million in the January transfer window for Palhinha. For a while, it had been internally discussed that there was still the option on the table of going back in for him in the winter, but the club’s hierarchy have ultimately deemed that they do not want to go back in with that kind of offer.
Tuchel knows how much he wants a No. 6, but the front office might not be exactly on the same page as far as what they would be willing to spend, and honorary club president and supervisory board member Uli Hoeneß disagrees with Tuchel in the club even needing a defensive midfielder. The latter feels that the current squad already has the requirements for a No. 6, contrary to how Tuchel feels.
There are other candidates Bayern can and will pursue, but Palhinha was at the top of Tuchel’s radar and the type of midfielder that genuinely fit the profile of what he has been looking for. Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips has also been a name mentioned at Bayern as well as Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Manu Koné, but there have not been any concrete discussions with either player or their representatives at this stage. Also, it is now looking more likely that Koné would be too expensive for Bayern and that he will more than likely be wind up going elsewhere.
For now, the question remains looming large as we broach closer and closer to the winter; who will Bayern wind up going for in the defensive midfield position? A lot can happen between now and then, but it would be safe to assume whoever they wind up trying to sign would cost less than Palhinha’s price tag of €65 million.
Looking for transfer talk? Check out our Bavarian Podcast Works — Weekend Warm-up Podcast on Spotify or below: