THE NOTEBOOK: Liverpool the join race to sign Fulham's Joao Palhinha

THE NOTEBOOK: Liverpool join race to sign Fulham’s £60m rated Joao Palhinha as interest in the midfielder continues to grow… while a number of clubs are also eyeing Cottagers boss Marco Silva

  • A number of clubs are interested in Joao Palhinha after impressive season so far
  • Some Arsenal players have sought private physio sessions away from the club
  • Fulham boss Marco Silva could be a target for a number of Premier League clubs 

Arsenal extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to five points once again with a comfortable 3-0 win over Fulham. 

Mikel Arteta side took the lead in the 21st minute when Gabriel Magheales rose highest from a Leandro Trossard corner.

The Belgian forward then dug out a cross from the left to find Gabriel Martinelli, who leaped over Antonee Robinson to double the Gunners’ lead. 

Trossard completed a hat-trick of assists on the stroke of half-time, finding captain Martin Odegaard, who kept his composure to find the bottom corner.  

Sportsmail’s Sami Mokbel was on hand to point out some of the things you may have missed from the game. 

Arsenal extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to five points with win at Fulham

 Interest in Joao Palhinha soars  

Joao Palhinha’s absence through suspension was a huge blow for Fulham. The Portugal international has made a big impression since arriving from Sporting in the summer. His brilliant performances, though, come as a double-edged sword for the Cottagers. 

He still has over four year left to run on his current deal with Fulham, so they are under no pressure to entertain losing him. But make no mistake, the vultures are circling. Liverpool are understood to be the most serious suitor but there are others.

He was signed for £20million, but sources claim that Fulham now value Palhinha closer to treble that amount. But even at £60million, Palhinha would be close to half the price of Jurgen Klopp’s No 1 central midfield target Jude Bellingham.  

Fulham are confident that they can keep Palhinha for a least one more year – but interest is growing.

Liverpool are leading the race to sign Fulham’s Joao Palhinha after his impressive displays

Jurgen Klopp is in need of midfielders and Palhinha is seen as alternative to Jude Bellingham

Arsenal players seek private physio sessions ahead of title run-in

One injury here, a slight niggle there could be the difference between glorious victory or gallant failure for Arsenal between now and the end of the season.

Indeed, it appears those fine margins aren’t lost on Mikel Arteta’s players as we approach the business end of the season. 

Sportsmail has learned that a number of the Gunners’ first-team squad have sought private physio sessions away from the club’s medical umbrella to ensure their bodies are primed for the title run-in.

Some Arsenal players have sought private physio sessions away from the club

Marco Silva is eyed by rival clubs 

As first revealed by Sportsmail in January, Fulham are eager to secure head coach Marco Silva down to a new contract. Understandably, of course. What a brilliant job the Portuguese has done here at Craven Cottage. 

Promotion last season, pushing for Europe this – Silva’s stock couldn’t be higher. Yet, therein lies the problem for Fulham. The managerial market is set to be as intriguing as the player window ahead of next season. 

The top jobs at Brighton, Chelsea, Tottenham, Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest, Leicester, West Ham, Leeds and Southampton could all conceivably – for one reason or another – be available before the start of next season. 

Silva’s sterling work at Fulham hasn’t gone unnoticed by rival clubs. For the Cottagers, the sooner they can persuade Silva – whose existing contract expires at the end of next season – to sign that new contract the better.

Promotion last season, pushing for Europe this – Marco Silva’s stock couldn’t be higher

Ben White impresses again ahead of international break

Ben White has the balance of a modern day full-back down to a tee. He supplements Arsenal’s attacks in incessantly, but is rarely caught out of position in doing so. He was excellent again against Fulham. 

Unquestionably, he deserves to be named in Gareth Southgate’s first post-World Cup squad on Thursday. But having left Qatar under a cloud, more questions over the circumstances of his sudden departure from the squad for ‘personal reasons’ will arise if he isn’t selected this week.

Ben White impressed for Arsenal and it remains to be seen if he will receive an England Call-up

Those watching this routine Arsenal victory at home had to settle for Sky’s studio presenter David Jones’s pearls of wisdom as Arsenal took the lead through Gabriel yesterday. 

Sky Sports’ commentary feed cut off during the Gunners opener leaving Jones to navigate viewers through proceedings for a short period. Perhaps, Sky were trying to show solidarity with their beleaguered broadcasting rivals the BBC following their weekend from hell.

 Famous faces in the house 

This salubrious part of London is always handy for a bit of celeb spotting. Here on Sunday you’d have found former Holland international George Boateng while rowing champion James Cracknell was also in the building. 

Ex-Fulham and Tottenham midfielder Sean Davis attended – though wasn’t instantly recognisable; the 43-year-old has swapped his trademark crew cut for a distinguished new hair do. 

There was, however, less difficulty in spotting the Rolling Stone in attendance. Even incognito in a navy blue cap, Mick Jagger is unmistakable.

The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger was in attendance at Craven Cottage on Sunday afternoon

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