By Gabriel Agbonlahor

12th May, 2023 | 5:56pm

Agbonlahor thrilled by £60m Joao Palhinha update after latest from Aston Villa

Gabby Agbonlahor has insisted Aston Villa target Joao Palhinha has “all the assets you need in a midfielder” as Unai Emery prepares a summer move.

The former Villa striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the 27-year-old could replace 2022 signing Boubacar Kamara in the starting lineup.

Sources told this site last week (7 May) that Aston Villa are ready match Fulham’s £60million asking price for midfielder Joao Palhinha this summer.

The Midlands club are aware they face competition from elite clubs like Tottenham, Liverpool, Man United, Chelsea and Bayern Munich.

Villa boss Emery is believed to be a “huge fan” of Palhinha, who has shone in 37 appearances across all competitions during his first season in England.

The Portugal international has deservedly earned a reputation as a tough tackler and has registered the most tackles of any Premier League player this term (139) – ahead of the likes of Moises Caicedo and Declan Rice.

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Agbonlahor told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “I think he’d be the kind of player who can fight for Kamara’s spot, as well as play alongside him in the tougher games.

“Palhinha has got all the assets you need in a midfielder, and that’s why I’m sure there’ll be a lot of top clubs after him.

“We don’t know who Emery’s favourites are right now. He might want to upgrade his options.

“I certainly wouldn’t say no to Palhinha. He’s a top midfielder, I love the way he breaks up play. He can pass the ball as well.”

Palhinha is under contract at Fulham until June 2027.

He joined the Cottagers for a reported fee of just £20million last summer (2022).

In other news, Aston Villa handed major boost in striker hunt.