Marco Silva admits he ‘cannot control’ Joao Palhinha’s future at Fulham amid renewed Bayern Munich interest

Marco Silva remains uncertain over Joao Palhinha’s future  (Getty Images)
Marco Silva remains uncertain over Joao Palhinha’s future (Getty Images)

Marco Silva admitted he “cannot control” where Joao Palhinha’s long-term future lies, amid reports that Bayern Munich will continue their pursuit of the player in the January transfer window.

Palhinha joined Fulham for £17million last summer, and has been the club’s best player by some distance ever since.

He was allowed to fly to Munich on deadline day this month but Fulham maintained they would only sell him if they found a replacement defensive midfielder. They never did, and so he flew back despite Bayern lodging a £56m bid for him, which would have been Fulham’s all-time record sale if it had been accepted.

Fulham announced a fortnight ago that Palhinha had signed a new long-term contract at the club, and Bayern manager Thomas Tuchel refused to answer when asked on Wednesday whether the Bavarian giants remain interested in the Portugal international.

“I cannot control the future — and not just about Joao,” Silva admitted on Thursday. “When you receive some big offers, and the size of that club, there will be more noise around. What is going to happen in January or next summer I cannot control. The club has the control. He can keep playing and be a key player for us.”

Silva confirmed Sasa Lukic remains sidelined with a knee injury and will be one of a number of absentees when Fulham visit Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The Fulham boss: “Sasa Lukic is going to be still out. Back, we hope, against Norwich [next Wednesday] or Chelsea [on October 2]. Let’s hope he can start to train next week.

“Tosin [Adarabioyo], from last season, had a problem with his groin last season. He had a small surgery and it’s going to be probably six or seven weeks.

“Adama [Traore] has a muscle injury. The player didn’t have a pre-season. Almost all pre-season he was training alone with his personal physio. We had a behind-closed-doors game during the international break here and he felt his hamstring.”

Silva added: “As for the others, they are going to be back. Antonee Robinson is back. He’s training with the team since the beginning of the week and he’s going to be ready.”

New signing Raul Jimenez is still yet to score since joining this summer from Wolves, and Carlos Vinicius scored Fulham’s winner three minutes after coming off the bench for Jimenez against Luton on Saturday.

Silva was coy on who would start up front against Palace “You’ll have to wait until the game,” he said. “We have three players that can play there in Carlos, Raul and Rodrigo Muniz. It’s up for me to decide.

“It’s always important for a striker to have an impact,” Silva added of Vinicius, “but Raul helped the team during the minutes that he played.”