Crystal Palace have reportedly identified Blackburn Rovers midfielder Adam Wharton as a target ahead of January, who is also admired by Newcastle.
Roy Hodgson is keen to bring in a new centre-mid after Cheick Doucoure picked up a serious Achilles injury which could see him ruled out for the rest of the season.
Doucoure has been one of Crystal Palace’s most important players in recent months, so he will be tough to replace. His absence was felt on Sunday when the Eagles drew 1-1 with West Ham.
Crystal Palace are expected to be busy in January. Hodgson is looking to bring in a new striker and right-back, but keeping hold of important players such as Man Utd and Chelsea target Marc Guehi poses a challenge in itself.
Nevertheless, it seems the manager isn’t fully convinced by his remaining midfield options of Jefferson Lerma, Will Hughes and Jairo Riedewald.
Crystal Palace could now take a punt on Wharton, who is considered to be one of the most promising young players in the Championship at the moment.
Crystal Palace to battle Newcastle, Everton for Wharton
According to The Sun, Crystal Palace are seriously considering making a move for Wharton in January as a consequence to Doucoure’s injury.
The Eagles reportedly see the 19-year-old as a ‘viable replacement’ but will competition from rivals, while Blackburn Rovers are extremely reluctant to sell.
Wharton is one of the Championship side’s most important players. This season, the midfielder has made 17 league appearances for Blackburn, making two assists in the process.
A versatile player, the England under-20s international has the ability to play as a defensive or attacking midfielder, so could provide cover in several areas for Crystal Palace.
The Sun note that Newcastle are also keen on signing Wharton this winter, however, while Everton have also identified the teenager as a target.
The Toffees are set to lose Idrissa Gana Gueye when he goes to play for Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations, so will look to bring in a new centre-mid in January.
Reports suggest that Blackburn would only entertain a big offer for Wharton mid-season, so it will be interesting to see how much Crystal Palace, or indeed Newcastle or Everton, are willing to spend on him this winter.