Saint-Etienne manager Pascal Dupraz has confirmed they are pursuing a deal for Crystal Palace striker Jean-Philippe Mateta this month.

Mateta is currently on loan at Selhurst Park from Mainz, having joined them in January last year on an 18-month deal.

He’s barely featured for the Eagles in that time, with former manager Roy Hodgson and his replacement Patrick Vieira preferring other options ahead of him.

His future is something that needs resolving, particularly as his current loan deal includes a clause that will make his move to Crystal Palace a permanent one when he hits a certain number of games.

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That is something it appears Palace are keen to avoid given they’ve not used Mateta much, and they may have been presented an option by Saint Etienne.

They are keen to sign the striker this month, something their manager has now confirmed to France Bleu.

“The more we talk about this player, the less he will come to AS Saint-Étienne,” he’s quoted as saying.

“But what I can tell you. It’s that we have him on the phone regularly. There are rules to be observed, and it is still inappropriate to say that he will join us, but there is a will, and it is unanimous.”

It seems then that Crystal Palace have some negotiations to do with the French side and Mainz to make a deal happen.

Mateta is clearly keen to return to his homeland, and Saint-Etienne are happy to have him, so there is a deal there to be done,

Mainz will have to sanction it first, of course, but it makes far more sense for them to send Mateta to France than leave him at Selhurst Park, where he is unlikely to play much or activate the purchase clause in his deal.