Crystal Palace are hoping to conclude the signing of Brazilian goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri, Roy Hodgson has revealed.
The 35-year-old has been training with Hodgson’s squad following his release from Fluminense, and has been in talks over signing a permanent contract to provide a further option in a position the manager has long felt he lacks cover.
A knee injury suffered by Julian Speroni means that Wayne Hennessey remains Palace’s only fit, senior goalkeeper. While Cavalieri is not expected to sign a contract in time to be considered for Sunday’s Premier League fixture at home to Tottenham, discussions are regardless “well advanced”.
“He’s been very good,” said Hodgson, 70, of a player he also worked with at Liverpool. “He’s been with us just over a week now. He was released from his club, Fluminese in Brazil.
“We got to find out about that, and invited him to come over to do some training with us to see how he was and how he likes us. I’m hoping we’ll reach an agreement with him. Doug Freedman and Steve Parish (Palace’s sporting director and chairman) have been working very hard to get that agreement with him to at least stay until the end of that season.
“I believe they’re well advanced in those discussions, but unfortunately not so advanced that we’ll have him with us on Sunday.”
The visit of Spurs will also come too soon for Wilfried Zaha, meaning Hodgson is without 12 injured senior players, but the influential forward is “ahead of schedule” in his recovery from a knee injury.
“He’s doing very well,” Hodgson said. “He’s way ahead of schedule. His attitude and desire to get back on the field is quite outstanding. I don’t think I’ve come across anyone better in my career than him in that respect. He’s much further forward than we thought he would be.
“But that still means we’re looking at several weeks ahead before we can really count on him, I think. He’s already moved much further ahead – no one thought he’d be fit until several weeks after the international break. Now we’re bringing that period closer because we think we might get him back early.
“If we do, it’s great credit to the staff, and even greater credit to himself. He’s actually much further forward than medically he should be, at this stage. We’ve missed him, and will in the games to come, but the sooner we get him back, the better it will be for everybody, not least the team.”
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