Palace Eye Move For Red Bull Leipzig Winger

Crystal Palace are set to renew their interest in former Nottingham Forest and RB Leipzig winger Oliver Burke, after missing out on his signature last summer.

The promising Scotland international enjoyed a mixed first season at the German club, with RB Leipzig unexpectedly challenging for the Bundesliga title in their first top-flight campaign. Only missing out on glory to juggernauts Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig played some of the best attacking football in the league. Burke played his minor part from the substitutes bench, but understandably couldn’t dislodge the formidable Emil Forsberg, Naby Keita and Timo Werner.

It was expected Burke would be moving to the Premier League last summer after being heavily linked with a move away from Nottingham Forest. Still relatively unknown at the time, RB Leipzig seemed a strange move for a player widely tipped to succeed in the English top-flight. One of the clubs strongly linked were Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace, who were keen on striking a favourable deal with the City Ground club.

After completing his €15 million move to Germany last summer, Burke featured for his country at senior level but fell out of the picture for his club. He made 25 appearances in his first season in Leipzig, mainly appearing from the bench. He registered a solitary goal and two assists for the side. German sports media outlet Kicker report Palace’s interest is ‘concrete’ and a permanent transfer would be considered by RB Leipzig. The German club would expect to recoup the entirety of the outlay they spent last summer.

Palace boss Frank de Boer will be well aware of his thin-looking squad and Burke will offer a youthful guile in attack. The 20-year old may favour a swift return to England despite RB Leipzig maintaining the player has a future at the club. Considering the injury to star player Wilfried Zaha, the Eagles will need stronger back-up options than Bakary Sako and Chung-Yong Lee. Burke represents an exciting prospect with bags of potential. He should fit the mould of the profile of player Palace wish to sign, once again falling below the 21 year-old age bracket. The squad clearly needs refreshing all over the pitch. As much an improvement as this signing would be, it does fall below bigger priorities for the club to strengthen in. A goalkeeper, centre-back, right-back and striker are more vital in my opinion.


De Boer Considers Move For AS Roma Goalkeeper

After being linked with Udinese goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis, Palace boss Frank de Boer is rumoured to be considering another Serie A goalkeeper Łukasz Skorupski of AS Roma in a loan-to-buy deal.

The 26-year old Poland international arrived in the Italian capital in 2013 from Górnik Zabrze, signing a four-year contract. Skorupski has only played five times for the Rome club, but has been hugely impressive whilst on loan at fellow Serie A side Empoli in the past two seasons. His strong performances have led to him being recalled by his parent club as he challenges first-choice keeper Alisson Becker for the gloves.

After missing out on his countryman Wojciech Szczęsny to title rivals Juventus, Roma have promoted Alisson as their number one for the opening games. Early signs suggest Skorupski may find it difficult to dislodge the Brazil international and will become unsettled. The Pole will expect first-team football after his successful spell in Tuscany, with Palace a potentially exciting option for him to move to England.

A loan is a more likely option viable between the two clubs, as Roma won’t want to lose Skorupski without a replacement. With high levels of potential, the Polish keeper would command a £6 million pound fee at the end of the season if Palace wish to sign him permanently. The Eagles are in desperate need of reinforcements after the embarrassing 0-3 defeat at home to Huddersfield Town last Saturday.

With a new number one an urgent priority, de Boer is exploring many options to suit his new Dutch style of play with a ball-playing goalkeeper. After Manchester City’s failed attempts to integrate Claudio Bravo into a similar role, it remains to be seen whether it will become a successful transition for whoever takes the Palace gloves. A highly risky but potentially exciting deal lies in the balance.


Udinese Goalkeeper Linked With Palace Switch

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.


Fosu-Mensah In Palace Medical

Manchester United teenager Timothy Fosu-Mensah is having a medical at Crystal Palace ahead of a season-long loan move.

The 19 year old Dutchman will link up again with his former Ajax boss Frank de Boer, who was first-team manager when Fosu-Mensah completed his move to Old Trafford in 2014. Despite never playing for the Ajax first team, de Boer is well-aware of Fosu-Mensah’s potential from his control over the entire Ajax youth system. He has made 21 appearances for United since his first-team debut under Louis van Gaal in the 3-2 victory over Arsenal last February.

He will arrive in South London for the 2017/18 season in the hope of regular first-team football and invaluable Premier League experience. The Netherlands U-21 international will provide Palace with versatility and cover in a number of positions in defence and midfield. Deployed as a right-back towards the end of last season, Fosu-Mensah is perfectly adaptable to playing out wide, at centre-back or in his preferred defensive midfield position. He recently said: “If the manager wants me to play centre-back, I will play there. If he wants me to play defensive midfield, I will play there. If he needs me to play right-back, I will play there. I like them all and can play them all so it is not a problem.”

United boss Jose Mourinho gave the green light for the transfer after concluding big deals for centre-back Victor Lindelof from Benfica and defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic from Chelsea. In the build-up to the UEFA Super Cup defeat to Real Madrid, Mourinho confirmed Fosu-Mensah’s absence was due to a loan move. He said: “No Tim Fosu-Mensah because, in this moment, Tim is probably going on loan to another club. So we made the decision not to travel with him.”

Unconfirmed sources from Palace’s 3-2 friendly victory last night at Merstham FC also say Frank de Boer told a reporter Fosu-Mensah was due to join up in Palace first-team training today ahead of the move.

Fosu-Mensah will become Palace’s third signing of the summer after completing deals for Ruben Loftus-Cheek, 21, from Chelsea and Jairo Riedewald, 20, from Ajax. The average age of de Boer’s signings will be just 20 years old, as he begins to implement his new style at the club. If the Eagles begin the season with the expected 3-4-3 system, Fosu-Mensah would be more likely to play at right wing-back or as the right-sided centre-back. Depending on de Boer’s tactical approach, it would free up Andros Townsend from the unfamiliar role at wing-back to support Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke in the front three.

It’s widely considered Palace still require a host of new signings to ease the transition from counter-attacking football to de Boer’s possession-based game. Fosu-Mensah should help with keeping the ball and showing quality and composure up from the back through to the midfield. Riedewald and Loftus-Cheek were also signed with this new style in mind. By going Dutch again with the signing of Fosu-Mensah, the early signs of de Boer’s football project look all the more promising. The Johan Cruyff philosophy is beginning to be embedded beneath south London soil.