Joao Palhinha

Fulham have completed the £17.2m signing of Portugal international Joao Palhinha from Sporting Lisbon on a five-year deal.

Palhinha, 26, is the first new arrival of the summer for the Cottagers, who won promotion back to the Premier League last season.

The midfielder came through Sporting’s academy and made 95 appearances across all competitions for the club, scoring nine goals.

‘I’m very glad to be here. It’s a big opportunity for me, for my career, to play in what is – in my opinion – the best league in the world,’ Palhinha said in an interview with FFCtv.

‘I’ve signed with a great club. The club wanted me, and I chose the club, so I promise the fans that I will do my best, and I hope we can win so many things in this season.’

Cottagers vice-chairman Tony Khan said: ‘Joao Palhinha has excelled in Portugal playing both club and international football. He’s been one of our top targets in this window.

‘While there were other prominent clubs aiming to secure his signature, we’re thrilled that Joao chose to come here and that he wants to play for Fulham under our great coach Marco Silva.

‘We believe that Joao will be a valuable addition to strengthen the squad to compete this season in the Premier League.’

Fulham will start their season with a home game against last season’s runner-up Liverpool on August 6 before travelling to Wolves the following week.

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