Is This The Player Crystal Palace Need as Their 25th Man?

Crystal Palace are expected to sign a free agent in the coming days after releasing goalkeeper Kleton Perntreou to allow room for one more player in the 25-man Premier League squad, but who will the Eagles opt for?

After a disastrous transfer window ending with Palace missing out on Everton striker Oumane Niasse, the South Londoners know they remain light in more than one key area. As important as a new goalkeeper and another right-back would have been, it’s in the forward positions Palace are struggling for depth in.

Incredibly, Christian Benteke is the only fit first-team striker in the Palace squad after backup options were allowed to leave on loan and Connor Wickham remains sidelined until the new year. Niasse’s late-night transfer reeked of desperation, but his addition would have eased the lack of depth issue. Instead, Palace must now find a suitable candidate for regular Premier League football and provide valuable competition for the Belgian striker.

As near impossible as it would be to find somebody as good as Benteke, somebody must be found who can at least provide a spark off the bench or fill the void if (God forbidding) the star man was injured. Free agent strikers are few and far between but the current list includes the notable ex Manchester United and Villarreal forward Giuseppe Rossi, who is without a club after suffering a serious injury on loan at Celta Vigo from Fiorentina last campaign. The Florence club will probably have preferred to keep the talented Italian, but his injury means he would be an unrealistic target for any club to take on just yet.

With limited possibilities left outside the window, one other name of any real prestige stands out for Palace. Mali striker Cheick Diabate was let go by Turkish club Osmanlıspor after his loan deal at Ligue 1 side FC Metz expired. Despite a successful spell of eight goals in fourteen appearances in France, the player hasn’t found a club yet. His international pedigree, target man style and excellent goal scoring ratio across his career make him hot property for a 29 year-old. Averaging a goal every two games and scoring 66 goals in 152 games for French giants Bordeaux, he would be an astute signing for any club still in need of real quality.

Diabate seems the best possible signing for Palace at this moment in time. All things considered, having one fit striker is more concerning than having two experienced goalkeepers. Bacary Sagna would ideally be the perfect addition, but due to Wickham’s absence, Benteke needs help in a struggling Palace attack. Let’s hope it happens! COYP.

 

Deadline Day Preview – The Five Biggest Transfers That Could Happen

With the close of this summer’s transfer window fast approaching, clubs are in the process of scrambling around the market for any bargains or panic buys they can pick up. Many Premier League clubs go into the final day still unsure of many scenarios that could play out for or against them. We highlight five key transfers that could have a huge influence for the forthcoming campaign.

Alexis Sanchez ARSENAL to MANCHESTER CITY £60 million

Arsenal have pretty much hit rock bottom with their current crisis, but to hit the nail in their coffin key man Alexis Sanchez is highly likely to complete his much-anticipated move away from North London. Entering the final year of his contract, the Gunners would be daft not to cash in on a player who clearly wants out and looks dejected by their whole demise. Pep Guardiola has an arsenal himself at Manchester City, full of many of the best attacking players in the world. It’s questionable as to how they would fit Sanchez into that mix, but one thing is for sure – his former Barcelona coach will make the Chilean a star player. Raheem Sterling had been mooted as a surprising compromise in negotiations, but £60 million should really seal the deal. Arsenal have only themselves to blame and goodness knows where they would and will be without Sanchez’s magic touch. They owe it to the player to allow him to leave, and probably owe themselves the money too to avoid letting him go for nothing next summer.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ARSENAL to LIVERPOOL £40 million

It had appeared Oxlade-Chamberlain was heading across London to arch rivals Chelsea after a £35 million fee had been agreed, but now the 23-year old utility man is having a medical with his boyhood club Liverpool instead. Another embarrassing dilemma Arsenal have caused themselves, the Ox is entering the final year of his contract and has already made his mind up that he wants to jump the sinking ship. Like Sanchez, can you really blame him? After turning down the eventual offer of a contract extension last week, the former Southampton youth player epitomises the negativity around Arsenal under Arsene Wenger. Willing to take a significant pay cut to join the Merseysiders, Oxlade-Chamberlain wants to play in his favoured central midfield position instead of being deployed as a right wing-back under Wenger last season. He reportedly rejected Chelsea because he believed Conte was going to use him in a similar position as well. Prepared to earn £100,000 less than the reported salary Chelsea offered him, Oxlade-Chamberlain offers a refreshing change to the everyday money-grabbing footballer. A player with vast potential, hopefully the England international can thrive under the stewardship of Jurgen Klopp in midfield, especially after his nightmare appearance against the Reds on Sunday.

Riyad Mahrez LEICESTER CITY to ARSENAL/CHELSEA/AS ROMA £40 million

Ever since Leicester’s miraculous one-off title victory in 2015/2016, star man Riyad Mahrez was always likely to constantly be linked with a move to a bigger club. A player who has defied all obstacles to reach his way to the top, the Algerian international owes it to Leicester for everything they’ve achieved but they owe it to him just as much. This means they share a love-love relationship as everybody at the club understands his ambitions and wish to help him achieve his dreams. After handing in a transfer request at the beginning of the summer, Leicester City players, staff and fans have all warmly appreciated the situation. The player loves the club and the club love the player, but they all know Mahrez deserves this big-money move. As the summer has dragged on, no real concrete bids have arrived for the player other than AS Roma’s pursuit which ended well below Leicester’s valuation. The Foxes have every right to ask for around £50 million given transfers such as Gylfi Sigurdsson to Everton, but the last day of the window should make them open to helping their loyal servant secure his dream move. Arsenal and Chelsea among others continue to register an interest, so maybe a move should finally materialise. £40 million may force Leicester’s hand, but the player has continued about his business admirably and professionally. He will go with everybody’s blessings, but secretly they will be hoping the interest never turns to anything meaningful. Maybe wait until next January, Riyad?

Renato Sanches BAYERN MUNICH to SWANSEA CITY Loan

Perhaps the most surprising transfer rumour in the final week, Swansea City look likely to pull off an incredible coup by landing one of the world’s most highly-rated youngsters Renato Sanches. After the Portugal international’s £28 million move from Benfica to Bayern Munich last summer, Sanches has found game time few and far between. Considered a supernatural talent from his heroics at Euro 2016 last year, the Bavarian giants have found it difficult to always give the 19-year old enough minutes on the pitch. He could happily continue playing a bit-part role in Munich or he could get some consistent match experience elsewhere on loan. Swansea would undoubtedly make Sanches their key man and offer him star status that the other potential destinations wouldn’t. Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Juventus among other European giants were linked with moves, but a move to South Wales will give the player what he wants for a season. His former assistant coach at Bayern Paul Clement knows the player well and will be a key factor in the player choosing the Swans.

Mamadou Sakho LIVERPOOL to CRYSTAL PALACE £30 million

Going into the final day of negotiations, Liverpool and Palace still remain unable to reach a deal for the France international. The Reds have not budged from their £30 million valuation and will be well-aware of how desperate the South London club are for reinforcements. The player clearly wants the move after continuing to be frozen out by Jurgen Klopp at Anfield. A cult hero for his successful loan spell at Selhurst Park last season, he has remained Palace’s key transfer target ever since. The recent offer emerging from reports has been rejected at £25 million. Palace are really going to have to bite the bullet and cough up the money. They need Sakho more than ever, but Liverpool need their own funds for other potential transfers including Thomas Lemar. Hopefully it all ends well for all parties by the 11pm deadline. It is a transfer that must happen.

Sakho Moves Closer To Expected Palace Move

The summer transfer saga involving Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho and Crystal Palace looks to set to come to an end as the Eagles close in on sealing a deal with the Merseyside club for the France international.

After his hugely successful loan spell in the second half of last season under Sam Allardyce, cult hero Sakho’s highly anticipated return was always expected to drag right to the end of transfer deadline. The 27 year old centre-back remained a key target for new boss Frank de Boer and it seems Palace are finally set for some positive news.

Given the rising costs of players in this year’s crazy summer market, Liverpool rather expectedly haven’t shifted from their £30 million valuation of Sakho. Despite being completely banished from the first-team picture at Anfield under Jurgen Klopp, Sakho is still recognised for his top-class quality that saved a doomed Palace side last season.

Palace are a team in crisis after three straight defeats from the opening Premier League fixtures. A centre-back has remained a key position needed strengthening, particularly with boss de Boer’s new Dutch 3-4-3 passing system from the back. After missing out on names such as Bruno Martins Indi and Calum Chambers, Palace have retained their interest in Sakho throughout.

The Frenchman has apparently remained keen on returning to his illustrious status at Selhurst Park after being harshly treated by Liverpool. The Daily Mail reports Palace may have benefited from playing the long game after Liverpool have softened their stance with just days ticking til the window deadline. It’s rumoured a compromise of £25 million plus add ons totaling Liverpool’s valuation of £30 million will force the Reds to sell.

Similar to Palace’s pursuit of another big name frozen out by Liverpool a year ago, Sakho’s transfer saga is no different to the stalemate over Christian Benteke’s move. The Eagles suffered greatly in the opening games last season too by waiting too long to save a mere few million on a key transfer. Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion offer strong competition for Sakho’s signature, but it’s expected the player will choose the club he’s had his heart set on since his loan expired in May.

Palace Transfer Target Joins Cagliari

Crystal Palace transfer target Gregory van der Wiel has completed a surprising move to Serie A side Cagliari from Fenerbahçe for an undisclosed fee.

The former Paris Saint-Germain and Dutch international, 29, leaves the Turkish capital after just one season. He is a product of the famous Ajax academy after featuring in the first-team for five years under coaches including Palace boss Frank de Boer.

With 46 caps to his name, van der Wiel has been a regular at right-back for his club and country. After four successful seasons in Paris, the defender has decided for yet another fresh challenge abroad. He was rumoured to be one of Frank de Boer’s key transfer targets when he arrived at Selhurst Park at the end of June.

Offering bags of pace, composure and quality down the right-hand side, van der Wiel is very much the definition of the modern-day full-back. As exciting as he is on the attack, he has declined in his defensive abilities hence his spiral downwards from top-level football in Amsterdam and Paris. Istanbul represented another quality move, but the Turkish club’s willingness to allow van der Wiel to move on to measly Cagliari epitomises his current level.

At the age of 29 years old and a stage where the player has lost his international recognition, Palace may have sensibly avoided taking a gamble on a once so dazzling footballer. Starting in the 2010 World Cup final defeat to Spain, van der Wiel’s pedigree has never been doubted. Yet, with Palace’s new transfer strategy of building a squad for the future, van der Wiel’s profile would’ve only offered experience not potential.

A bullet dodged by the Eagles? After missing out on van der Wiel’s Dutch counterpart and future replacement Kenny Tete to Olympique Lyonnais, Palace have a race against time to find a suitable full-back. Depending on priorities, keeping Timothy Fosu-Mensah would be a viable option if it meant Joel Ward was dropped. Get that cheque book out Mr. Parish, it’s fast approaching a disaster.

Palace Interested In Spurs Keeper

Crystal Palace are interested in signing Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Michel Vorm.

The Dutch international, 33, has been playing second-fiddle to Spurs number one Hugo Lloris throughout his three years at White Hart Lane. He arrived in a £3.5 million deal from Swansea City in 2014.

According to Sky sources, Palace have identified Vorm as the ideal goalkeeper for de Boer’s playing style out from the back. The former FC Utrecht shot-stopper made a name for himself during his three-year stint between the sticks for the Swans, leading to Mauricio Pochettino signing him in a three-way agreement involving Ben Davies and Gylfi Sigurdsson.

With 15 caps to his name for the Netherlands, Vorm has vast international and Premier League experience. Yesterday, Tottenham confirmed the signing of Argentinian goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga from Southampton for an undisclosed fee. He was expected to come in as Spurs’ third-choice keeper after Pau Lopez’s loan from RCD Espanyol was not made permanent. Vorm has been happy to sit on the bench for much of his three years at White Hart Lane, but may now be the time in his career to move on.

Palace have so far failed this summer with recruiting a new goalkeeper after missing out on FC Barcelona number two Jaspar Cillessen. Steve Mandanda was allowed to return to Olympique de Marseille, leaving the Eagles with only Wayne Hennessey and Julian Speroni as first-team options. Vorm would represent a suitable move for both player and buyer, yet it remains to be seen as to whether Spurs will sanction the deal. The Dutchman has been extremely able deputy for Lloris in Tottenham’s rise to the top.

A chance to stay in London, join his countryman de Boer and gain more game time will surely appeal to Vorm. However, he has seemed content at Tottenham and is most probably enjoying his time at the North London club. If he decides to move across to the south of the capital, he would be warmly welcomed by fans and players alike in SE25. It would be surprising if Tottenham allowed the move, in particular given their struggles with squad depth last season. Goalkeeper always seemed a well-covered position so surely they would need another signing if they wanted to keep three top-level options. Gazzaniga is far from convincing and is a surprising signing by Spurs.

Vorm has a big decision to make; stay where you’re well-respected, happy and content, or risk a move to play more football at an age where you could soon be on the decline? He would certainly know how to be the keeper de Boer’s system craves. Good with his feet and command of his area, if Palace could get Vorm playing like he was regularly for Swansea in the Prem, we would certainly have one of the best of the rest. He was the very first goalkeeper I thought of after we survived last season (obviously then enhanced by de Boer’s appointment). It seems logical to me, but does it to Spurs? Let us know what you think at Selhurst Sound!

Palace Linked With Barcelona Forward

Crystal Palace are amongst a host of European clubs interested in signing FC Barcelona forward Munir El Haddadi.

The 21-year old Spanish international is reportedly set to leave the Nou Camp after new Barca boss Ernesto Valverde could not guarantee the player enough playing time. The Catalan giants would be open to a possible permanent transfer, but may prefer to loan out a player they still value very highly.

Munir spent last season on loan at Valencia, impressing with 6 goals in 30 matches for Los Che Els Taronges. A well-known promising talent originally signed from Atletico Madrid in 2011, the forward can play anywhere out wide or in central attacking positions. He already has one cap at senior level for Spain and made his debut for Barcelona in 2014.

Media reports from Italy and Spain say Munir would prefer a move to AS Roma if he leaves Catalonia, with the Italian capital club willing to meet his supposed €12 million release clause. Premier League clubs remain waiting in the wings for any developments, with Palace and Newcastle strongly rumoured for a transfer throughout the summer. Catalan newspapers believe Munir would be extremely interested in a move to England, especially if his move to Rome fails to materialise.

 

It’s well-documented Palace are in desperate need of reinforcements, particularly in the forward positions. With Connor Wickham unlikely to return until 2018, Christian Benteke remains the only fit centre-forward at the club. Munir would prove to be an outstanding prospect suitable for filling in both wide areas or up front himself. His age, playing style and background all fit de Boer’s vision for a new Palace. The Eagles moving for Munir permanently would also depend on their other transfer activity, particularly the rumoured £15 million move for RB Leipzig’s Oliver Burke.

Get the deal done Palace, whether this is a rumoured loan deal or even a transfer fee as high as €25 million euros. It would represent another exciting prospect for the future and make others stand up and take notice. A nervous last few days in the market. We still need 4 or 5 in my opinion, contrary to Parish’s supposed 3. A player who has graced a football pitch alongside Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, what’s not to drool over?

De Boer Confirms Palace Interest In Scottish Prospect

Crystal Palace boss Frank de Boer declared his interest in signing Red Bull Leipzig winger Oliver Burke in today’s pre-match press conference.

With just under two weeks of the transfer window left open, the Dutchman confirmed the rumours emerging from Germany that he was keen to negotiate a deal for the highly promising Scottish prospect. The 20 year-old would be making a swift return to England after just a year since joining the newly-qualified Champions League outfit for €15 million from Nottingham Forest.

Ahead of the weekend trip to Liverpool, de Boer told the gathering media: “Burke is a very promising, young Scottish player. It’s always interesting to look at, but we are focusing on other players, too.”

After the shocking 0-3 home defeat to Huddersfield Town on the opening day last weekend, de Boer is well aware of the need for strong reinforcements.

German media outlet Bild followed up original claims from Kicker that Palace were in talks with RB Leipzig over a deal. Despite the German club’s sporting director playing down thoughts of Burke’s potential exit earlier in the summer, it looks like a deal could be completed by the Eagles by the end of the window.

Let’s face it, why else would Frank mention it if there wasn’t a chance it could happen? Here’s hoping the rumoured £15-18 million outlay won’t hamper our bigger, more pressing moves in the market.