Crystal Palace striker Jean-Philippe Mateta is ‘at the top of the list’ for Swiss side Basel to replace Arthur Cabral should he leave before the end of this month.
That’s what Blick report today, stating that they could secure the Frenchman on a loan deal from parent club Mainz to replace the Brazilian.
Cabral has been linked with a move to Italian side Fiorentina as a replacement for Dusan Vlahovic, who has been heavily linked with a move away from the club before the end of the January transfer window.
Juventus are keen on his signature, and Fiorentina are keen to get rid of him as his contract is set to end its final year in the summer.
Should he leave, which is looking extremely possible, they’ll need a replacement for him, and Cabral is the man they have identified to do so.
That would leave Basel without their star striker, though, and so, in turn, they have identified Mateta as the man they want to target.
He’s been on loan with Crystal Palace since January of last year but has not been a regular under Roy Hodgson or his successor Patrick Vieira.
The loan deal includes a clause that means Palace will have to make the loan a permanent deal should Mateta play a certain amount of games, something Mainz have been hoping would happen for some time.
A report earlier this month indicated that the loan deal does not include a termination clause, but it is possible for Crystal Palace to buy their way out of it.
That was revealed in light of interest in Mateta from elsewhere and basically made it clear that it would be complicated for any other side to sign him this month as it would require an agreement with Crystal Palace, Mainz, Mateta and the new club.
That would be the same for Basel, who would only have four days to work out a four-way deal that everyone is happy with.
That’s complicated, to say the least, and doesn’t even factor in that there might be less time as it all depends on Cabral going to Fiorentina first.
Blick do say a loan deal with Mainz is ‘possible’, though, so Mateta is one to keep an eye on as we get closer towards deadline day.