Joao Palhinha will undergo his Fulham medical today as he completes the formalities of his £17m transfer from Sporting Lisbon.

The Portuguese international’s protracted move to the Premier League is almost over the line having seemed likely to be scuppered by a dispute around commission owed to agent Jorge Mendes, who had been given a mandate by Sporting to sell the 26 year-old holding midfielder to an English side this summer.

Palhinha, a youth product at his hometown club, will become Marco Silva’s first signing of the summer as the Whites prepare to try and end their bouncing between the top two divisions. The defensive midfielder, widely regarded as one of the Primeira Liga’s most consistent performers over the last three seasons, starred as Sporting won the domestic double in 2021 and has lifted the Taca de Liga for the last three seasons in succession – having enjoyed an excellent loan spell at Braga in 2020.

Palhinha, who has made 95 first-team appearances and scored seven goals for Sporting, was named in the Primeira Liga team of the year in 2021 when he made 32 league appearances for the Lions as they won their first league title in two decades. The 6ft 3in midfielder has won fourteen senior caps for his country, making two appearances in last summer’s European Championships, and sees a move to England as pivotal in making the Portuguese squad for this winter’s World Cup.

Silva, who managed Sporting as Palhinha was breaking into the club’s ‘B’ side, played a key role in persuading his compatriot to snub Wolves and select Craven Cottage as his final destination. Personal terms are believed to be already agreed with the midfielder set to put pen to paper on a five-year deal in west London.