May 25, 2024

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson is applauded before the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. Picture date: Wednesday May 19, 2021.

Roy Hodgson returns as Crystal Palace manager until end of season |  BelfastTelegraph.co.uk

Crystal Palace: Hodgson in “good position” to secure “massive” signing

With Wilfried Zaha on his way to Turkey, could Brazilian wonderkid Matheus Franca help Palcae replaces some of his attacking output?

Crystal Palace are “in a really good position” to beat Chelsea to the signature of Flamengo’s highly rated and highly sought-after youngster Matheus Franca, claims transfer insider Dean Jones.

Is Matheus Franca joining Crystal Palace this summer?

It hasn’t been a great start to the summer window for Palace so far this year. They have made just one senior signing so far, and it was the rather uninspiring signing of Jefferson Lerma from Premier League rivals Bournemouth.

However, the departure of club legend Wilfried Zaha is the biggest problem for the South Londoners, as his performances over the last few seasons have been instrumental in keeping them in the league, and to see him leave for free is nothing short of a disaster.

Chelsea in talks with Flamengo over €20-25m deal for Matheus França - We  Ain't Got No History

That said, the club do appear to be making inroads with some potential transfers, one of those being for the highly-rated Brazilian youngster Franca.

According to Brazilian publication Tocedores, Palace co-owner John Textor has made an offer for the 19-year-old in the region of £26m, putting them in direct competition with cross-city rivals Chelsea for his signature.

The Blues have also made an opening bid for the exciting prospect after meeting with his representatives in London earlier this month, per Globo.

The fact that he has made just 28 senior top-flight appearances since making his debut in 2021 has done little to put people off, with football scout Jacek Kulig waxing lyrical about the youngster, saying:

“Great midfielder, great striker, he can play almost everywhere. One of the most exciting teenagers in Brazil at the moment.”

Chelsea exploring £25m move for Flamengo star Matheus Franca | Daily Mail  Online

What did Dean Jones say about Crystal Palace and Matheus Franca?

Jones was surprised by Palace’s success in reaching this point of the transfer battle but was full of praise for them and didn’t rule out the possibility of them securing his signature.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, he said: “Yeah, it would be massive for them if they could actually win this battle. I mean, it’s not easy to even get as far as they’ve got with it to be honest because he’s a player that has been coveted by a lot of clubs.

“Getting to this moment and obviously Chelsea being the biggest of them and Chelsea don’t normally miss out on targets like this. It has to be said that Palace have put themselves in a really good position to actually sign him.

Analysis: Who is Matheus Franca, Real Madrid's newest Brazilian wonderkid  target? - Football España

Who else have Crystal Palace been linked to this summer?

While Franca would undoubtedly be an excellent signing for the future, it’s unlikely that he’d make an immediate impact on the team and so, the South London side are likely to do some more business this summer before the transfer window slams shut on September 1st.

One of the players that the Eagles are interested in is Arsenal’s American striker, Folarin Balogun. The 21-year-old is coming off a brilliant season in France, where he scored 21 goals for Ligue 1 side Stade Reims and achieved an average match rating of 6.9.

folarin-balogun-arsenal-premier-league

The club’s interest in the young prodigy was revealed last month by Football Insider, an interest that was confirmed by Ryan Taylor earlier this month when he told GIVEMESPORT that Palace were still “looking at him.”

The biggest hurdle for this deal is that Arsenal now want close to £50m for their young American, which would eclipse Palace’s previous record transfer fee of £27m, which they paid Liverpool for Christian Benteke in 2016.

Perhaps Roy Hodgson’s side could get some kind of discount should they include a buyback clause, as they are going to have to find a way to replace the goals lost from Zaha’s departure.

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