Joao Palhinha helped Sporting reach last season’s Champions League last 16, where they were beaten by Manchester City

Fulham have signed Portugal defensive midfielder Joao Palhinha from Sporting Lisbon on a five-year deal for a reported fee of around £17m.

The 26-year-old is Fulham boss Marco Silva’s first signing since they won promotion to the Premier League in May.

Palhinha helped Sporting reach the Champions League last 16 last season.

“It’s a big opportunity for me, for my career to play in what is – in my opinion – the best league in the world,” he said.

“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,” he added.

Palhinha, a product of Sporting’s youth set-up, helped the club win the Portuguese league title in 2021, and played 95 times for the club after making his senior debut in 2017.

Fulham have also been heavily linked with a move for Shakhtar Donetsk’s Israel international forward Manor Solomon to replace Fabio Carvalho, who joined Liverpool for £5m.

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