The pain of the narrow loss is still there. Bayern Munich was on the verge of completing the signing of João Palhinha from Fulham in the dying hours of the German summer transfer window, but a deal collapsed at the final minute, partially due to Fulham not properly lining up an ample replacement for the Portuguese international.
Looking ahead to this winter’s transfer window, Thomas Tuchel has made it abundantly clear that he still wants to sign a defensive midfielder during the January window as well as bringing in defensive reinforcements. The need for more defenders has been amplified with Bouna Sarr recently tearing his ACL in his left knee. However, as far as Palhinha is concerned, despite what his own wishes might be, getting to Bayern in the winter would be quite complicated.
Per information from TEAMtalk (as per @iMiaSanMia), the Portuguese midfielder would still very much love to join Bayern, which should come as absolutely no surprise given how devastated he was when the summer move fell through. However, a deal with Bayern this winter would be tough to negotiate because Fulham claim all of the suggestions of a gentlemen’ agreement between the player and the club potentially leaving on a reduced fee are nothing but speculation concocted by the press. They do not have any reason to want to let him go at this point.
Not long after the conclusion of the summer transfer window, Palhinha signed an extension on his contract at Fulham, keeping him at the club until 2028 + the option for one more year. The timing was a bit bizarre given his distraught figure walking through the Munich airport when his move to the Rekordmeister fell through, but it is understandable why Fulham wanted to do that.
While a winter deal between Bayern and Fulham for Palhinha would be increasingly difficult at this stage, there is still some hope internally at Bayern since Fulham is moving in on Fluminense’s André to prep for the eventual departure of Palhinha. Fulham knows he wants a Bayern move and that there is also heavy interest from other clubs, knowing full well that he will eventually leave the club.
From Fulham’s standpoint, the stars would have to align exactly right for a deal with Bayern to happen, which does not rule things completely out, but it would certainly be a mountain to climb for Tuchel and Bayern.