Fulham have signed Portugal international midfielder Joao Palhinha on a five-year contract from Sporting CP.
The recently promoted Premier League club are said to have paid £20 million (€23.2 million) for Palhinha, with a 12-month extension option.
Palhinha, who has 14 caps for Portugal and is a candidate for the 2022 World Cup, has also been linked with Manchester United and Wolves.
However, Fulham revealed on Monday on their official website that the 26-year-old has become their first acquisition since being promoted from the Championship in April.
Vice-chairman Tony Khan is overjoyed that Palhinha, who had been on Sporting’s books for a decade, has won the contest.
“Joao Palhinha has excelled in both club and international football in Portugal.” He’s been one of our main objectives this season,” Khan explained.
“While other big teams were vying for his signature, we’re delighted Joao opted to join us and that he wants to play under our great coach Marco Silva.”
“We believe Joao will be a beneficial addition to the club as we prepare to compete in the Premier League this season.”
Palhinha scored three goals from defensive midfield for Sporting in the Primeira Liga last season.
He has spent his whole career with Sporting, however he has had loan spells with Moreirense, Belenenses, and Braga, making Fulham his first club outside of Portugal.
“I’m delighted to be here. It’s a huge opportunity for me and my career to play in what I consider to be the best league in the world,” Palhinha remarked.
“I’ve joined with a fantastic club.” The club wanted me, and I chose the club, so I guarantee the fans that I will give it my all this season, and I hope we can win a lot of things.”