Fulham remain confident of retaining Joao Palhinha despite frenzied interested in the Portuguese midfielder’s services, according to various reports this evening.

The Evening Standard expresses the Cottagers’ firm belief that they will be able to hold onto the former Sporting midfielder in spite of frenzied speculation that suggests several suitors are keen on signing the 28 year-old this summer. Palhinha led the Premier League in tackling in his first season in England, which saw him score four goals in forty appearances, as Marco Silva’s side finished tenth on their return to the top flight.

Palhinha has four years remaining on his Craven Cottage contract – with Fulham holding an option to extend that deal by a further twelve months. He is happy in London and pleased to be reunited with Silva, who nurtured his talent during the 45 year-old’s spell in charge of Sporting. West Ham have been regularly linked with a bid for Palhinha over the course of the close season – but Fulham do not need to sell any of their key players this summer and are understood to have made it clear that their player of the season is not for sale.

Silva, who rejected an approach from Saudi side Al-Hilal earlier this week, is preparing for a full campaign in charge of the Whites despite not yet putting pen to paper on the contract extension that Fulham have offered him after two outstanding seasons since succeeding Scott Parker in SW6.