Liverpool could reportedly take a look at Cristiano Ronaldo’s international teammate Joao Palhinha as a cheaper alternative to Jude Bellingham.

The England international is said to have been valued at around £133 million. Palhinha, meanwhile, could cost the Reds a fee in the region of £60 million.

According to the Daily Mail (h/t, Palhinha, who was at the 2022 FIFA World Cup alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, has impressed manager Jurgen Klopp with his performances this season.

He was restricted to three substitute appearances in the group stage in Qatar. However, the Portuguese midfielder has become one of manager Marco Silva’s most trusted players in the starting XI.

Palhinha has started in all but three of Fulham’s 27 Premier League games this season, as his team sits in eighth position in the table. He arrived at Craven Cottage last summer for a fee of £20 million and signed a five-year contract.

Fulham could consider selling him given the hefty profit they could make with a potential sale. The 27-year-old, however, is a specialist defensive midfielder.

Palhinha ranks in the 99th percentile for tackles per 90 minutes as compared to other midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues in the last 12 months. He is in the 91st percentile for aerial duels won and 93rd percentile for clearances made (h/t FBRef).

Bellingham, meanwhile, is more of a box-to-box midfielder who contributes at both ends of the pitch. He has registered 10 goals and six assists in 33 games across competitions for Borussia Dortmund this term.

Real Madrid has been heavily linked with a move for the 19-year-old, which could make things difficult for Liverpool.

Liverpool target Joao Palhinha has already fulfilled his ‘dream’ of playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo became the first footballer in history to score 700 club goals when he scored in Manchester United’s 2-1 league win against Everton in October.

Asked to give his opinion on his international teammate’s record later that month, Fulham’s Joao Palhinha said (h/t TalkSPORT):

“This record is unbelievable. He is one of the top players in football history. For all players in the national team, and for Manchester United players, everyone enjoys training with him and playing with him.

Palhinha, who has shared the pitch with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner 16 times for Portugal, added:

“When I was a boy, I watched him on TV and now I play with him. It is very cool. It is a dream I had in my life, so it’s very good for me. It’s very good for Portugal to have a player like him in our country.”