Finally agreeing to sell Steve Mandanda back to Marseille after months of negotiations over not a lot of money, Crystal Palace were trying to sign a new goalkeeper.
It wasn’t even a secret, as both Barcelona’s Jasper Cillessen and PSV Eindhoven’s Joroen Zoet were linked quite profusely with a move to Selhurst Park, both to no avail.
The interest in the former Ajax man was even commented on by Frank De Boer, who used the well known “anything can happen in football” line, which we all know means something along the lines of “Yes, but…”
Crystal Palace’s need for a goalkeeper would have made Cillessen their indisputable number one, even if Wayne Hennessey had the full trust of Sam Allardyce during the Englishman’s stint at the helm, and the same would have probably applied to Zoet.
The PSV shot stopper wanted a move to the Premier League.
So much so, in fact, that De Telegraaf reported the player was angry with his club at making a move for him very difficult, with both Newcastle and the Eagles after his services.
Zoet believed he had an agreement with his club that he would be allowed to leave if an offer of around €5-6m arrived, yet he said, in the end, the Dutch side wanted around double that.
PSV later refuted the claims and suggested the only approach had come from West Ham.
This led to an apparent brief interest in Antonio Adan, but, considering the 30-year-old gets linked with a move to England every transfer window, that could be more tradition than anything else.
Which leads us to this mysterious article from Calciomercato.com, who relay Italian newspaper Secolo XIX, claiming that a Premier League side, towards the end of the season, made a bid of around £18m for Genoa’s Mattia Perin.
Looking at most squads, other than Newcastle, who got rid of Tim Krul on transfer deadline day by loaning him to Brighton, there was only one in desperate need of a goalkeeper, and that’s Crystal Palace.
We’re not saying they are the ones who made the bid, but even Huddersfield, who spent huge amounts of money this summer, will have been running on fumes transfer budget wise come the end of the window.
Frank de Boer’s side, on the other hand, prior to Mamadou Sakho’s last minute acquisition, had only spent £8m on Jairo Riedewald.
While the decision to let Steve Mandanda go was something the club didn’t have much say in, considering how much the France number two wanted to leave, there’s a reason why he was brought in in the first place.
Is Wayne Hennessey really a Premier League standard goalkeeper? Alan Pardew didn’t think so, and by the look of things, nor does Frank De Boer.
That’s why Palace making a last ditch effort at signing a young and very talented goalkeeper from Italy for around £20m wouldn’t be all that surprising.