Tottenham Hotspur’s move for Sporting Clube de Portugal midfielder Joao Palhinha seems unlikely before it has even begun, according to previous comments from his agent.
The Portuguese has been strongly linked with a move to north London over recent days.
Reports from the player’s homeland have suggested that he is a key target for Spurs boss Nuno Espirito Santo heading into next season, but any move is set to be an expensive one considering the €60million (£50m) release clause in Palhinha’s current deal.
Despite that, a move has been ruled out before with the midfielder’s agent Luis Neves insisting that his client would prefer to remain in Portugal.
Talking in March, he said: “There he is very happy with Sporting, his coach and everything that is happening. There is no doubt that Ruben Amorim is a very important part of this call.”
He also revealed that whilst there has already been interest in the 26-year-old, stretching back as far as the 2020 summer transfer window, Palhinha is unmoved by any speculation of a transfer away from the Estadio Jose Alvalade.
“Before returning to Sporting, he already had a market,” Neves continued. “Today, naturally, he has a little more.
“There were several approaches at the beginning of the season, but the player’s goal was to stay and shine at Sporting. He knew he had a coach who believed in him, [he] wanted to play for Sporting, show value and evolve.”
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Palhinha, a defensive midfielder, made 38 appearances for Sporting last season as they won the Primeira Liga title.
His performances were good enough to earn a place in his country’s Euro 2020 squad, eventually making two appearances at the tournament as Portugal fell at the round of 16 stage.
The 26-year-old still has four years left to run on his contract with Sporting.