During the last transfer market, Sporting’s Joao Palhinha was repeatedly linked with a move to Wolves.
At one point the transfer was presented as close to happening, and then Wolves seemed to back away from the midfielder, who can also operate in central defence. Reading between the lines, it felt like Nuno Espirito Santo’s side were keeping Palhinha as an option in case they lost a member of their current squad in a similar position.
That didn’t happen, and instead the 25-year-old continued with Sporting.
He’s now given a long interview to Record, and the Portuguese newspaper asked about interest from Wolves, CSKA Moscow and Real Betis.
Record wanted to know how concrete things were, and Palhinha responded: “At that time there were things that were talked about and that were about to happen. And if it didn’t, it’s because it didn’t have to happen. In my life I have always thought like this: if things did not happen at that moment, then it is because there is something better to achieve.”
That was quite cryptic, so Record got to the point they were trying to make and suggested to the Sporting player that a move to England would be good for him, to which he replied: “Given my characteristics and the recognition I give to all European leagues, the English championship was the one that I would most like and where I see myself playing the most. Obviously, I have that dream and goal, because we all recognise the value of the English league, like others, but I am not obsessed with it. I want to do a good job at Sporting, evolve as a player, play as many games as possible for the club. For the rest, it’s about letting things happen.”
That’s not quite a full come-and-get-me plea, but it’s not too far away from one.
Given the number of players to have moved from Portugal to Wolves it’s an aim which isn’t an unreasonable one for Palhinha, as long as he manages to impress with Sporting this season and perhaps beyond.