According to The Athletic, Watford are quietly confident that they can hold onto long-term Crystal Palace target Ismaila Sarr in January.
Reports in recent times reported the Eagles were keen on bringing the Senegal international to Selhurst Park, with rumours continuing to circulate over Wilfried Zaha’s future at the club.
Fast forward several months later, and The Sun’s Alan Nixon has revealed Palace could be tempted to make an offer for the Watford winger but it “depends on the price.”
It’s claimed the star’s Championship employers seem to believe they are on the verge of receiving some sizeable bids in January, although they remain reluctant to sell him before the end of this season.
The Eagles will be closely monitoring the situation of the 22-year-old versatile forward who has been subject to a rejected £25m bid from Palace chairman Steve Parish on transfer deadline day in the summer.
But Parish could finally test Watford’s resolve by submitting an offer they can’t refuse, possibly an amount somewhere in the region of the £27m plus add-ons Palace paid Liverpool to prise Christian Benteke away from Anfield in 2016. That remains the club’s transfer record fee to this day.
After failing to get a deal done in the summer, Roy Hodgson’s side find themselves in dire straits, with just three points separating them from the relegation battle and the chasing pack below.
The Senegalese would add strength and depth to a squad that has come under increasing strain as a result of the busy schedule over the winter break and would be able to slot into place opposite the likes of Eberechi Eze, Jeffrey Schlupp and Andros Townsend, or even replace Zaha upfront if he picks up an injury between now and the end of the season.
He has received rave reviews for his performances from former Sunderland and England striker Kevin Phillips, who told Football Insider he is a “top player” who will “only get better.”
You only have to look at the numbers – four goals and two assists in 17 appearances in the Championship, while he is averaging 2.4 shots and 2.1 dribbles per game, via WhoScored.
It’s about time Parish atoned for his past mistakes – say no more about Alexander Sorloth – and signing a player who is capable of playing anywhere across the midfield or playing second-fiddle to Zaha is surely a no-brainer.