Joao Palhinha: Liverpool transfer target suffers 'serious' pre-season injury

Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha's hopes of a transfer away from the club this summer could be in serious doubt after he suffered a shoulder injury in pre-season.

The 28-year-old Portugal international joined Fulham for £20m last summer and was the club's Player of the Season in 2022/23, as Marco Silva's side achieved an impressive top-half finish.

Palhinha topped the league charts for tackles last season with 147 and his good form had drawn several suitors.

West Ham had already seen more than one bid rejected for the midfielder, while Liverpool too have been linked with the former Sporting CP star.

With the Reds on the hunt for a new 'number six' as Fabinho prepares to depart for Saudi Arabia, Belgian reporter Sacha Tavolieri claimed that the Reds were the club 'most keen' to sign Palhinha, with Fulham 'seeking solutions' for a player they value at €60m (£51m).

Any chance of a big-money move this window could be over now, however, after Palhinha suffered a 'serious' shoulder injury in his side's pre-season match against Brentford in Philadelphia on Sunday.

The midfielder went down hurt at the end of the first half of Fulham's 3-2 victory, in the Premier League Summer Series. Speaking after the game manager Marco Silva admitted Palhinha had likely suffered a dislocated shoulder — an injury that could rule him out for several weeks.

“Unfortunately, it doesn’t look good,” Silva told the club’s official website. “It’s serious, but let’s hope it’s not too serious.

“It’s his shoulder, probably dislocated. Tomorrow he’s going to do a scan and it will be more clear for me to update you on the situation. Let’s hope it’s not another long-term injury for us.”

In addition to Palhinha, Liverpool have been linked with several defensive midfielders with proven Premier League experience including Romeo Lavia (Southampton) and Cheick Doucoure (Crystal Palace).

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