Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha is set for a Manchester United audition at Old Trafford tomorrow afternoon.
The Portuguese international is back from suspension for the FA Cup quarter-final clash, the club’s official website have confirmed.
The Sun report United are ‘monitoring’ the Fulham midfielder who joined the club from Sporting last summer for just £17 million.
Any deal would cost Manchester United more than £40 million after his impressive season and amid interest from Newcastle and Arsenal.
Joao Palhinha set for Manchester United audition
That means that Erik ten Hag will get to see him up close again and this time at Old Trafford, which can impact a player’s performance level and mentality for better and for worse.
He will not get to test himself against Casemiro, who is beginning a suspension of his own, and is ruled out for four domestic matches.
Manchester United may be forced to go into this game with the ‘McFred’ midfield combination, although Marcel Sabitzer came off the bench in midweek against Betis.
Palhinha caught the eye with a stunning goal in the last round against Leeds and will be looking to help book his side a spot at Wembley.
Given that United probably only need a backup to Casemiro in terms of a defensive midfielder, only spending bigger for a Frenkie de Jong type, the optimum time to buy Palhinha may have gone.
That said, a good display at Old Trafford may alter Ten Hag’s thinking, especially if De Jong proves unobtainable again in the summer.
Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham continue to be linked but it seems spending big money on a striker is the priority for United this summer.
Either way, United need to plot a route past Palhinha and go, and needed a last-minute Alejandro Garnacho winner in the Premier League fixture at Craven Cottage before the World Cup.