Arsenal decision gives Palace hope as Vieira cuts striker shortlist to two

Date published: Monday 30th August 2021 9:47 - Steve Pearson

Patrick Vieira during Crystal Palace vs Brentford, August 2021

Arsenal are ‘considering’ a move that will give Crystal Palace all the encouragement they need to pull off a late striker raid, according to a report.

Palace entered he new campaign with a significant degree of uncertainty. Gone are the steady days of Roy Hodgson, replaced by Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira as the club’s hierarchy sought fresh ideas.

The Eagles’ squad underwent major surgery this summer with a number of veteran stars leaving as free agents.

However, one position that saw relatively little change was in the forwards. Like last season, Palace have continued to deploy Wilfried Zaha, Jordan Ayew and Christian Benteke in attack.

The trio had laboured in their opening two contests before Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher notched the club’s first two league goals of the season at the weekend.

According to the Guardian, Vieira is ‘keen’ to bolster his striking options before the window closes on Tuesday night.

And it’s claimed Vieira could look to his former club Arsenal in the form of Eddie Nketiah.

The 22-year-old has fallen down the pecking order at the Emirates under Mikel Arteta. He is yet to feature this season.

Eddie Nketiah warming up for Arsenal in April 2021

Palace were previously reported to have set aside a small sum for the potential signing of Nketiah. Now, the Guardian report that figure to be around £12m.

Arsenal are stated to be seeking £20m for the striker’s signature. However, it’s claimed they ‘may consider lowering their original asking price’ in order to seal a deal.

That may give Palace all the encouragement they need to pursue a late deal. Interest from unnamed German clubs is also touted.

Nketiah comprises one half of the shortlist Palace and Vieira have drawn up. The second name to attract their attention is Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard.

Celtic's Odsonne Edouard during the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round, first leg match at Celtic Park, Glasgow

The 23-year-old is in the final year of his deal in Glasgow. Palace are stated to be ‘one of three Premier League clubs’ who have registered interest along with Brighton and Everton.

Celtic reportedly desire £15m for the Frenchman who is familiar to a member of Vieira’s coaching staff.

Edouard played under Palace’s new development coach Saïd Aïgoun in PSG’s youth sides.


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New Palace signing lured by Vieira “project”

Meanwhile, new Crystal Palace signing Will Hughes made a big statement of intent upon his arrival.

The Eagles signed the midfielder from Watford on a three-year contract. He underwent a medical on Friday and was then announced ahead of their game with West Ham at the weekend.

The deal has seen a £6m fee head the way of Watford, where Hughes had just a year left on his contract. That amount could rise though as the transfer includes bonuses. Therefore, it could end up costing the Eagles £10m.

Speaking with Palace TV after agreeing terms, Hughes has signalled his intent with a comment that manager Patrick Vieira and the club’s fans will love.

He said: “Fans want to see players give 100% and that’s the minimum I’ll give. That’s what they can expect… [Palace are] planning for the future and it’s exciting times ahead.

“They’re not just planning for the here and now, which is obviously important, but they’ve got a big project going on here so it’s exciting to be part of it.”

READ MORE: Paper Talk: Prem quartet circle, as surprise Ronaldo move rips up ambitious Man Utd plan for star; Chelsea man wanted

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