Leander Dendoncker season has begun early.
A week or so ago there were claims in Belgium that Atletico Madrid have a signed pre-agreement meaning they can buy the player from Anderlecht for €20m this summer.
That was a huge story, and then somewhat disappeared.
On Wednesday we covered claims from Belgium’s HLN that Crystal Palace are preparing a new effort to sign the midfielder/defender in the summer window, dependent on them securing Premier League status.
Thursday has another claim. Betis have been brought into the picture, and the same Belgian newspaper states Spanish sources are reporting interest from the Sevilla club.
Betis see Dendoncker as the ‘ideal reinforcement’, but there’s not really been anything about this in Spain. Estadio Deportivo, the local Seville sport newspaper, are usually right on top for Betis transfers, and they certainly haven’t been pushing things prior to the Belgian claim.
Interest from the club would provide competition for Crystal Palace, but we’re struggling to find anything in Spain to really back it up.
Betis’ transfer record remains the £20m+ they spent on Brazilian Denilson in 1998. Since then they haven’t gone over £10m, with a group of transfers just under that amount according to Transfermarkt.
Dendoncker will likely go for a minimum of €15m, so it’d take a leap for Betis to sign him. The club are looking for something of a mini revolution in their squad this summer and spending €15m on one player may not fit in with that.
Then there’s the wages. Dendoncker has long made it clear he fancies a Premier League move, which favours Crystal Palace, and that’s probably got at least a little to do with the riches on offer.
Are Betis really going to spend €15m+ and pay the player £50k or more a week? Maybe not. Spanish newspaper AS have covered the Belgian claims and point out English interest would ‘hinder’ Betis’ chances.
There’s a chance it’s Anderlecht pushing the recent stories, trying to create the idea of a battle for Dendoncker, attract as much interest as possible, and drive the price up.
Crystal Palace will need to keep calm, but ready, with any interest they have.