Rumoured Man United target Joao Palhinha opens up on being put ‘at ease’ by Cristiano Ronaldo after his first international call-up, with superstar tipped to be crucial if club move for him in bid to bolster midfield
- Manchester United have been linked with a move for Portugal’s Joao Palhinha
- Palhinha revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo put him ‘at ease’ on international duty
- This connection may prove crucial in United’s pursuit of a midfielder this month
Cristiano Ronaldo may prove crucial to helping Manchester United solve their midfield woes, with the superstar holding a close relationship with rumoured transfer target Joao Palhinha.
The two are said to have spoken while on international duty with Portugal, meaning United could have been handed a major boost as they ponder over swooping in for the highly-rated Sporting Lisbon man.
It has been suggested that Palhinha wants to play in the Premier League one day, after catching the eye at the same club which thrust a teenaged Ronaldo into the spotlight before he joined United.
Rumoured Man United target Joao Palhinha has opened up on speaking with Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo put his international team-mate ‘at ease’ after Palhinha’s very first Portugal call-up
The Mirror report that Sporting wanted £33million for the 26-year-old but, after no concrete bids were lodged, will now settle for a fee of around £25m. This may tempt United to act, with Ralf Rangnick keen for reinforcements.
And if they were to mount a pursuit, they have already been handed a major advantage – with Palhinha opening up on how superstar Ronaldo helped him after receiving his first call-up for their country.
‘Cristiano always put me at ease. I was used to seeing him on television since I was little, but the fact of being in front of him made my first call even more real,’ he said.
Palhinha has also admitted that playing alongside Ronaldo for their country brings him ‘pride’
‘Being in the national team with him is a great source of pride for any player.’
The Mirror have added that Sevilla and Atletico Madrid are also keen on the star, which could spark United to move quickly to snap him up in this window.
Sporting boss Ruben Amorim, meanwhile, has been coy over any potential exit for Palhinha, simply insisting that he ‘doesn’t know’ what may happen.
‘Palhinha goes to the game. Regarding the market, we don’t know,’ Amorim said.
Ronaldo could even use their friendship in a bid to aid Manchester United’s midfield dilemma
‘Seven days to go. It’s a short space, everyone will know what’s going to happen, it’s not worth thinking about.
‘Palhinha is [ready] to play and is doing very well.
‘I trust that I can stay with Palhinha, but football has things that we do not control, we know that the situation of the club and the country has not changed that much.
‘I’m counting on Palhinha and I hope he continues.’