Marco Silva revealed this afternoon that Fulham’s discussions about extending João Palhinha’s contract at Craven Cottage began well before Bayern Munich tried to sign the Portuguese midfielder at the end of the summer transfer window.

The former Sporting midfielder looked set to join Bayern earlier this month only for the deal to collapse at the eleventh hour because the Whites were unable to sign a replacement before the closure of the German transfer window. Palhinha’s decision to sign a new five-year deal to remain in SW6 surprised the footballing community last night – but Silva insists talks between the 28 year-old midfield had the club had started months earlier.

Silva told his press conference today:

“It was not something that we started after the Bayern Munich stuff. This conversation about Joao renewing his contract started much earlier. That is true and Joao is not talking about it because he doesn’t need to, but he knows I’m saying the truth. The conversations started before that. Almost everything was prepared before that.

Of course, another club, a big club came for a player from our squad, that’s just the consequence from last season which I mentioned several times to you, and about the quality of the player of course. It was a matter of time.”