Jean Phillippe Mateta’s lack of appearances for Crystal Palace is causing concern for Mainz, who were hoping to see the loan deal turned into a permanent one.
The French striker signed for Palace on loan in the January transfer window, with the deal set to expire in June next year.
It includes a purchase option based on the number of games he plays for the Eagles, but that’s looking unlikely to be met.
BILD explain that so far, Mateta has only made nine appearances for Crystal Palace, with none of those hitting 90 minutes and at the minute, he finds himself sitting in the stands.
That’s thanks to the arrival of Odsonne Edouard from Celtic, who has already started the season in fine form and looks set to be the first choice under Patrick Vieira before too long.
Thus it ‘seems impossible’ that Mateta will get the 15 games required for his purchase option, which is around €14-17m, to take effect.
That’s a further issue for Mainz, who, while hoping for a permanent transfer, could have at least secured a transfer elsewhere if this loan didn’t work out. Except, a lack of game time means the striker’s value will ‘continue to fall’.
Thus ‘now is the time to act’ according to the newspaper. An early return to Mainz is out of the question, so they need to find a new club for him, and there were enquiries, even from Germany, during the summer.
That, though, is not an easy task, as the German club’s sports director Christian Heide explained.
“It’s still too early to think seriously about that,” he said.
“First, it would be the Londoners’ turn; JP has a contract there until 30th of June. Ultimately, four sides would have to come to an agreement – Crystal Palace, us, the new club and Mateta himself.”
In other words, all four parties are going to have to sit down and work something out if Mateta is to get the regular game time he wants.
That doesn’t seem to be on the cards at Crystal Palace, so you’d imagine they’ll be open to negotiations, particularly if they want to avoid paying that clause in his deal.
The alternative is Mateta spends the rest of the season sat on the bench, or even in the stands, doing nothing, a situation that seems to not really suit anyone involved.