Crystal Palace have been told they have no chance of signing Hugo Ekitike on deadline day after reportedly holding talks with the player without the prior permission of PSG.
The striker has endured something of a frustrating time since swapping Reims for PSG last summer in a deal that cost the Ligue 1 champions some €35m. Indeed, he has managed just 12 starts in all competitions last season after failing to dislodge the superstar trio of Neymar, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe.
And while Messi and Neymar have since moved on, and there remains doubts over Mbappe’s future, Ekitike still faces something of a roadblock into the first team.
To that end, the 21-year-old has actively sought a new challenge this summer after holding talks with a series of suitors. Of the clubs keen, it was West Ham who perhaps came closest to his signing. Ultimately, however, the Hammers decided to pursue other objectives, though they too have since ground to a halt for David Moyes’ side.
Ekitike has also been linked with a move to Eintracht Frankfurt with PSG looking to use the striker in a potential swap deal with Randal Kolo Muani. The France striker has also emerged on Tottenham’s radar this summer.
PSG, however, appear to have wrapped up the signing of Kolo Muani late on deadline day in its own right. They have agreed to pay the Bundesliga side a deal a €90m package, worth €75m up front and a further €15m in add-ons.
However, Ekitike’s decision, off his own back, to hold talks over a potential move to Crystal Palace, has not been well received by PSG.
PSG unhappy at Ekitike, Palace over talks
Per Fabrizio Romano, PSG have reacted with dismay at Ekitike’s entourage for their actions in holding talks with the Premier League side.
And with PSG lining up the deal for Kolo Muani without the need for Ekitike as bait, they have since blocked the potential move for Ekitike to join the Eagles.
Per the Italian reporter, Palace were hoping to line up a deal to sign the 21-year-old on a season’s loan. However, his decision to hold talks without gaining their prior permission has not gone down well with the Ligue 1 side’s management.
The consequence means the striker may well end up having to spend the season, or the first half at least, with PSG, where he will again be restricted in the race for first-team minutes.
On the flip side, PSG could yet reverse their decision and sanction the striker’s exit. However, with time ticking on and with just hours left before the window slams shut, that option appears increasingly unlikely.