Reports claim Crystal Palace are on the cusp of signing young Chelsea defender Marc Guehi as new boss Patrick Vieira continues to shape his squad for the challenges ahead.
Vieira, 45, moved into the Selhurst Park hotseat on July 4 and has wasted little time in bolstering his ranks. The Eagles were in need of defensive reinforcements after the exits of Scott Dann, Mamadou Sakho and Gary Cahill. And it appears as though they have not had to look too far.
Many outlets are reporting that Palace are close to completing a deal for the 21-year-old centre-back. But respected journalist David Ornstein took to Twitter earlier on Thursday to announce the news.
He tweeted: “Exclusive: Crystal Palace close to completing permanent signing of Chelsea defender Marc Guehi. 21yo having medical today ahead of penning 5yr deal. #CFC have sell-on clause + matching rights on future move.”
Guehi came up through Chelsea’s youth system before making his senior debut in September 2019. The England Under-21 ace made two EFL Cup appearances under Frank Lampard in the 2019-2020 season.
But he was loaned to Swansea City in January 2020 after spending the majority of the time with the Blues Under-23s. The youngster made 14 Championship appearances and impressed enough to earn another loan move to the Liberty Stadium for 2020-21.
The Ivory Coast-born stopper enjoyed his breakout season, making 43 appearances in the second tier last term. And he certainly caught the eye of a few clubs during his stint in South Wales.
It was thought that the west Londoners were keen on another loan deal for the starlet. But Palace seem happy to pay the full price and take him on a lengthy contract.
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Guehi part of Vieira revolution
The south Londoners finished 14th in the Premier League last season under Roy Hodgson. With the former England chief stepping down, the onus has now fallen on Vieira to take the club to the next level.
It was obvious that he needed to lower the average age of the squad. And landing the talented centre-half is certainly a step in the right direction.
James Tomkins is currently the only recognised centre-back at the club and so his impending arrival is a win-win scenario. Guehi will become Palace’s third signing of the summer after the arrival of midfielder Michael Olise and goalkeeper Remi Matthews.
There has been no mention of his price tag but it is thought to be between £15m and £20m. It would be no surprise if the French tactician added further quality before the start of the new season.