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Man Utd step up pursuit of £60m-rated Joao Palhinha as Fulham target Porto star as replacement

FULHAM are eyeing a move for Porto midfielder Mateus Uribe – as a potential replacement for Manchester United target Joao Palhinha.

The Cottagers are wary that Palhinha’s incredible form is attracting several suitors – despite the midfielder only arriving in west London from Sporting Lisbon for £20million last summer.

Manchester United continue to monitor Fulham star Joao Palhinha

Fulham have identified Porto ace Mateus Uribe as Palhinha’s replacement

United are monitoring the Portugal international’s situation, with Fulham expected to demand at least £60m for his services.

And SunSport understands that 32-year-old Uribe is seen as the perfect man to step in should they lose Palhinha earlier than expected.

Fulham have made contact with Porto and Uribe’s representatives already, and with the Colombian’s contract expiring at the end of June, a deal would be simple to execute.

However, Atletico Madrid and Lazio are also believed to be in the mix to land the player on a free.

Boss Marco Silva is a big fan of Uribe, and in an ideal world would like to partner him with Palhinha, but knows it will be a tough ask to keep the latter at the club next season.

Uribe joined Porto from Mexican side Club America back in 2019, and has helped the Portuguese giants to six major trophies, including two league titles.

Meanwhile, Palhinha has been a mainstay in the Fulham midfield in his debut Premier League campaign, and a big factor in the club rising up the table.

The 27-year-old was close to joining Wolves before Fulham nabbed him at the last minute.

But it is now anticipated United will make their move in the coming weeks.

Palhinha has amassed a total of four goals in 31 appearances this season.

Uribe, on the other hand, has registered four goals and one assist in 42 matches across all competitions.