Leicester ruled out as Prem rivals open talks for former Liverpool man

Date published: Wednesday 21st July 2021 6:11 - Samuel Bannister

Ozan Kabak, Naby Keita, Jurgen Klopp, Fabinho Liverpool v RB Leipzig March 2021

Crystal Palace have opened talks over the signing of former Liverpool defender Ozan Kabak, according to reports.

Kabak spent the second half of last season on loan at Liverpool from Schalke as an emergency measure due to their injury crisis. All three of their senior centre-backs were ruled out with long-term injuries at the same time, forcing them to find cover. Thus, in January, they brought in Kabak on loan and Ben Davies on a permanent deal.

Instead, it was their academy graduates who played the biggest part in shoring up the backline. Nat Phillips in particular impressed, to the extent that he is now considering a future away from Anfield to play more regularly.

By necessity, so too is Kabak, whom Liverpool did not sign permanently after his loan spell ended. He was a useful option for them when called upon, but they turned their focus elsewhere to sign Ibrahima Konate at the start of the summer instead.

Thus, Kabak is looking for a solution and it is unlikely to be back at his parent club. Schalke suffered a rare relegation last season, meaning they are likely to sell the Turkey international for a cut-price fee.

His destination could be back in the Premier League, where he has been linked with Palace, Newcastle and Leicester.

Reports earlier this month suggested that Leicester were leading the race for his signature. However, according to The Guardian, he is in fact not a target for them.

Instead, it is claimed that Palace are now in talks over the possibility of signing the Schalke centre-half.

The Eagles have already added Marc Guehi to their backline from Chelsea and Kabak would be another long-term prospect. A major summer rebuild is ongoing for Palace and this would be a beneficial piece of business if they can get it done.

Ozan Kabak Liverpool TEAMtalk

However, they face competition from unnamed clubs in Germany and Spain. There is no mention of Newcastle within the report.

Kabak could cost somewhere between £10m and £12m, which seems like a shrewd investment for a 21-year-old with some Premier League – and Champions League – experience.

Two other possible Palace targets named

After releasing several of last season’s squad, Palace need to find reinforcements in all areas of their squad.

The report adds two other players they are considering, to strengthen in midfield and attack.

First, they have expressed an interest in Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher, who impressed on loan at West Brom last season. He may be available for another loan, even if he is currently enjoying being part of the senior setup back at his parent club again.

In addition, Palace are weighing up a move for Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard, who is in the final year of his contract. A move south of the border looks likely for Edouard, who has a connection at Selhurst Park; he was once coached by their new development coach Said Aigoun in his PSG academy days.

It is a busy summer for Palace, but it seems they are on track with what they need to do.

READ MORELeeds, Palace on alert as Spaniards clear path to bargain midfield battler

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