It’s one of the biggest heartbreaks of the summer transfer window. João Palhinha’s move to Bayern Munich from Fulham fell apart in the eleventh hour as the latter club failed to find a replacement before the transfer window officially closed in Germany. Adding the Portuguese midfielder to Bayern’s fold would have made them serious treble contenders with such a deep midfield, but now the club will be left wondering ‘what if?’
Palhinha was expected to complete his move to Bayern from Fulham for a fee upwards of 70-million euros, which would have been a serious statement of intent from Thomas Tuchel and Bayern to the rest of Europe after having already signed Harry Kane from Tottenham. The midfielder went as far as having his medical tests completed in Munich and was even in the process of taking his official press release photos just before the deal completely fell through.
Instead of the chance for a cleverly-worked transfer announcement video from Bayern’s stellar social media team, all that’s left of a transfer that should have happened is the clip of a dejected-looking Palhinha heading back to London from the Munich airport. It’s a sort of ‘walk of shame’ of sorts, on Bayern’s part and not his, for all of the wrong reasons and he’s saying Auf Widersehen to Bayern when he should have been saying it to Fulham.
Could've, Should've, would've in a short clip...pic.twitter.com/kzcObXODqW— Bavarian Football Works (@BavarianFBWorks) September 1, 2023
Going into this summer’s transfer window, Tuchel wanted to sign a defensive midfielder, but efforts shifted to Kane when his number one target in Declan Rice decided to join Arsenal from West Ham United. That didn’t completely get rid of Tuchel’s desire to sign a defensive midfielder, it more or less just put it on the backburner until the Kane deal was finalized. Bayern’s board didn’t seem to agree with Tuchel in his continued desire to bring in a #6 midfielder, which perhaps caused unnecessary delays in signing one.
Now, there’s still a bit of a hole in Bayern’s squad that Tuchel wanted to address and he’ll have to manage with that hole being there at least until the January transfer window.