Sam Allardyce admits Crystal Palace’s bid to sign Carl Jenkinson from Arsenal is “hanging in the balance” and also hinted at frustration surrounding a potential move for Patrice Evra.
After recruiting Jeffrey Schlupp from Leicester the manager is attempting to further strengthen his team, but an agreement with Arsenal for full-back Jenkinson is being delayed by negotiations with the player’s agent.
Allardyce also did not dismiss an interest in Juventus’ Evra despite Schlupp’s arrival, but asked about the 24-year-old Jenkinson, responded: “I think that’s (down to) negotiations between the chairman and the player’s agent.
“While we appear to have an agreement with Arsenal, that agreement with the player hasn’t reached a conclusion, so that’s hanging in the balance, as we say.
“We’re still searching for players. We’ve exhausted this country, we’re more looking at the European element now, because of the vast cost of the players in this country. They’re a really big price.
“Someone said to me ‘You spent a lot of money on Schlupp’. It’s not really: it’s very little compared to what everybody else is spending and valuing their players at.
“He’s actually quite cheap compared to what we’ve been quoted for other players. It’s expensive on where we’ve been before but not expensive in the market.
“He brings a lot of energy, experience for such a young man. He experienced a Premier League-winning run last year. Can play in three positions – wide left, wing-back or left-back – that could be important in a small squad.
“He was desperate to come, desperate to leave Leicester even though they’re champions.”
The Palace manager was then asked about progress regarding Evra, and he said: “From my point of view, there would be many contacts made by the chairman, myself, to agents on whether these players are available, whether they want to come or whether they don’t.
“And then of course it’s very good if that player wants to leave, for that to get released to all the papers, to all the radio stations, in case a better club pops up and they’ve got more options to choose from.”
Allardyce continues to wait for his first victory since his December appointment, and on Tuesday Palace host his former club Bolton in an FA Cup third-round replay.
A weakened team could only draw at their League One opposition earlier this month, but with injuries to Steven Mandanda, James McArthur, Scott Dann, Connor Wickham, Pape Souare and Jordon Mutch, and Wilfried Zaha and Bakary Sako on international duty, he will again select a weakened XI.
“The team that starts will have only one player that hasn’t played regularly in the first team but has been out on loan recently,” he said. “The rest have plenty of Premier League experience; hopefully they’ll go one better than they did at Bolton.
“At this stage of the year we’re concerned about bigger things than the FA Cup. When you’re in the position we’re in, struggling in the wrong parts of the table, and the window’s open, the FA Cup is one of your lesser priorities.
“(But) it’s also a very, very good opportunity for squad players to play.
“The team have lost what it used to be (under Tony Pulis). For whatever reason the identity of the team, in the way it is playing, has changed.
“It was all about how good they were by using the possession that they had, which was far less than the opposition, but was so effective that they ended up winning football matches. We have lost that identity that we need to try and bring back. (And) we need a bit more pace.”