Crystal Palace have been linked with a move for Udinese goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis after his agent confirmed his client was on his way to the Premier League.
According to reports, Karnezis’ representative Vasileios Panagiotakis said the player was keen to leave Udinese this summer in search of a fresh challenge. He has spent three years at the Italian club after signing in 2014 for a fee of £671,000 from Spanish side Granada. Both clubs originally shared the same ownership of the Pozzo family, who are also majority shareholders at Watford. The Hornets, Newcastle United and Palace are the three possible destinations Panagiotakis speaks about when discussing Karnezis’ move to England.
“Karnezis will play in England for one from Watford, Newcastle United or Crystal Palace.”
The Greek international has 42 caps for his country and has been linked with several European clubs in recent seasons, most notably Napoli. He has been hugely impressive in his time in Italy, even winning Udinese’s Player of the Year award in 2016. However, Panagiotakis confirmed a move to Naples was “definitely off the table” for Karnezis.
Given the Pozzo family’s control over Watford and Udinese, player transfers between the two sides (and formerly Granada) make them potential favourites. However, if Karnezis is desperate to leave Udine, it could be more than just the club he wishes to cut his ties with. It’s no secret Newcastle have struggled to attract the players they have wanted this summer, and the Toon are still searching for another first-team goalkeeper. Rafael Benitez and the size of the North-East club may be a huge attraction for the player, but are they convincing enough to join with their current squad?
That leaves Palace in the frame as probably the only side as ill-prepared as Newcastle for the season ahead. The Eagles have needed a proper number one goalkeeper since Julian Speroni’s expected decline a couple of years back. Wayne Hennessey clearly does not cut the bill, so Palace should be pulling up all trees for a top-class goalkeeper. Steve Mandanda was supposed to be just that, so it’s important the club do make sure they land somebody for the long-term who can cope with the different culture. Karnezis is clearly a top-level goalkeeper but can he hack it playing in our league away from what he is used to? If he fits Frank de Boer’s style of play from the back, then I am all for trying if there’s nothing better and trusted about in the market.