Crystal Palace "brace themselves" for Liverpool Cheick Doucouré swoop

Daryl Finch
11 months ago

As the clock starts to tick until the end of the summer transfer window, Crystal Palace are preparing for an approach from Liverpool to tempt star midfielder Cheick Doucouré away from the club.

That's according to The Guardian, which reports that the south London club expect the Reds to firm up their interest in the Malian before the window slams shut in the coming weeks.

Having been pipped to the signings of both Moisés Caicedo and Roméo Lavia by Chelsea, Liverpool must now pursue other targets to avoid being left short in the engine room.

After losing captain Jordan Henderson, vice-captain James Milner, Fabinho, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all in the same window - and only replacing them with Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai - the Reds are looking to sign two more players for the midfield.

Stuttgart's 30-year-old midfielder Wataru Endo has been identified as a new target and looks set to complete his move imminently as he undergoes a medical.

Doucouré next?

Once Endo's transfer is complete, Liverpool's focus is expected to shift towards Doucouré, as per Miguel Delaney in the Independent.

While contact has reportedly been made with Sofyan Amrabat, Delaney believes that the current preference appears to be the man from Mali (though João Palhinha of Fulham and Khéphren Thuram of Nice are also under consideration).

A fee of under £60 million should be enough for the highly-regarded 23-year-old, but Crystal Palace, like other clubs, are fully aware of Liverpool's urgent need for a midfielder like Doucouré and know, given the Reds' bid for Caicedo, that they have at least £111 million in the bank.

Nonetheless, it's also known that Doucouré is enthusiastic about a move to Liverpool, and contractual terms would not pose an obstacle if a formal offer were to be accepted.

But, at this time of the transfer window, with the season already under way, Crystal Palace are determined not to lose a player of Doucouré's importance without putting up a significant fight.

The club seem under no obligation to sell, either, and have persuaded French winger Michael Olisé to reject an offer from Chelsea and commit to a new four-year contract at Selhurst Park.

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