Dan Cook recently reported on the HLTCO Podcast that Crystal Palace is in the ‘final stages’ of signing RC Lens star man Cheick Doucoure despite the French side not being keen on the sale for a club-record fee.
Having already secured the signatures of former West Brom star Sam Johnstone and Derby County youngster Malcolm Ebiowie, the South London outfit’s biggest link has been with Lens midfielder Doucoure who impressed in Ligue 1 last season.
It would now appear the deal for the player is nearing its completion and Cook claims that Palace almost forced the hand of the French side after offering a club-record transfer fee despite the club not being desperate to sell Doucoure.
He said on the HLTCO podcast, “It seems as though we are now in the very, very final stages of the negotiations and indeed, I believe that the actual negotiation stage between the two football clubs has reached its conclusion… Crystal Palace are said to initially be paying 21 million euros for the transfer with an extra 5 million euros coming their way in the future from potential additional bonuses.
“Obviously based on his number of appearances, goals, time spent in the club, there are all sorts of different stipulations that can be built into transfers like this. And the story itself actually suggests that Lens weren’t too keen to let Cheick Doucoure go.
“But as has been well reported, it will be a club-record fee that they’ve received for a player they’re selling. So, in many ways you know we forced their hand somewhat.” (0:39)
TIF thoughts on Doucoure to Palace…
So far under Patrick Vieira, the Eagles have successfully begun an impressive rebuild which has seen the likes of Marc Guehi, Joachim Andersen, Michael Olise, and Odsonne Edouard last summer. It now looks like they are continuing this shrewd business with the capturing of Doucoure for around €26m.
Last season the Mali international impressed by averaging 2.2 tackles, two interceptions, 1.3 dribbles, and 2.4 long balls per game with 87.5% passing accuracy. He also ranked in the 93rd percentile for progressive passes and carries per game with 6.26 and 6.87 per game and then 84th for interceptions compared to other midfielders in the top five leagues.
Securing a player of this class, with his potential for under €30m is another great coup from Vieira and Dougie Freedman and with the unlikeliness of them bringing Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher back next season, he will be essential to the midfielder going forward.
Will Doucoure start for Palace?