By Pete O'Rourke, Transfer Correspondent

6th May, 2023 | 8:00am

Exclusive: Aston Villa confident they can beat 'Big Six' to Palhinha signing

Aston Villa have joined the race to sign Fulham star Joao Palhinha this summer, sources have told Football Insider.

The 27-year-old midfielder has been in brilliant form for the London side and Villa are ready to compete with a host of European powerhouses for his signature.

It is understood that Tottenham, Liverpool, Man United, Chelsea and Bayern Munich are all interested in signing the Portuguese international.

Fulham are resigned to losing Palhinha given the mass amount of interest in his signature this summer, and Villa are keen to etch their name onto the list of interested clubs.

While Villa may not be able to offer Champions League football, Unai Emery’s side are in the race to qualify for European competition this season with the club currently sitting eighth in the Premier League.

The Midlands club are also hoping to lure Palhinha to Villa Park by offering him regular first-team football, and they are confident that they can financially compete with the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ and match any offers put forward for him.

Get Exclusive transfers news at Football Insider's YouTube TV channel

Emery is understood to be a huge fan of Palhinha, and while central midfield isn’t necessarily a top priority for Villa this summer, the Spaniard sees the Fulham star as a direct upgrade to his starting XI.

Villa owners Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris are keen to back Emery’s ambitious transfer plans in an attempt to help the club become regular challengers for the top six Premier League spots.

Palhinha has been a consistent performer for Fulham since joining the Premier League club for £20million last season.

He has made 36 appearances across all competitions in Marco Silva’s side, starting every league game in which he has been available – Palhinha also tops the Premier League charts for tackles made, with his 129 this season well clear of Moises Caicedo’s 93 in second place.

In other news, Kieran Maguire drops ‘incredible’ Aston Villa verdict as source reveals European talks