Joao Palhinha hails 'happiest day' after Bayern Munich transfer finally completed

Joao Palhinha has called signing for Bayern Munich “one of the happiest days of my life” after the announcement of his sale by Fulham for a club-record fee of £47.5million.

Bayern will pay £43.2m plus a further £4.3m in add-ons for Palhinha, who completed his medical last weekend.

The Bavarian giants had already made multiple bids for Palhinha this summer, but Fulham stuck to their valuation of the player. The first offer was understood to be worth £29.7m.

The deal overtakes Fulham’s previous record sale, which was set last summer when striker Aleksandar Mitrovic joined Saudi club Al-Hilal for £45m.

Bayern believed they had signed Palhinha on transfer deadline day last summer, when Fulham gave the player permission to fly to Bavaria for a medical.

But he had to travel back to London when Fulham pulled the plug on the deal after failing to sign a replacement in the defensive midfield position.

Fulham paid just £17m in 2022 to sign the Portugal international from Sporting CP, and he was the Premier League’s most prolific tackler in both of his seasons in England.

The 29-year-old leaves after scoring eight goals in 79 total appearances for Fulham.

“This is one of the happiest days of my life”, Palhinha said. “I’m now playing for one of the top clubs in Europe. It’s a dream come true for me, and I’m very proud of that.

“I’m looking forward to the atmosphere and the fans at the Allianz Arena. I want to enjoy success with FC Bayern and win titles. I’ll give it my all.”

Fulham’s sporting director, Tony Khan, told the club’s official website: “Joao Palhinha has been a fantastic player for Fulham since he joined us in July 2022.

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“His formidable presence in the midfield, his aggressiveness and phenomenal skill have made him a fan favourite and a leader on the pitch for Fulham.

“All of us at the club are grateful for Joao’s hard work, the time we shared with him, and the great memories from these past few years working together.

“We’ve reached an agreement today that could result in the highest transfer negotiation in club history, with these resources coming in at an essential time in our summer squad planning for the season ahead and our long-term future. We wish Joao the very best in his new journey.”