Crystal Palace have faltered in contract talks in an effort to tie down their midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate.
That’s according to Football.London, who state that the midfielder looks set to leave Selhurst Park after no further progress was made in contract talks.
The Eagles had been trying to tie him down, but the parties had not been able to reach an agreement.
Palace had managed to agree to new contracts with four other players, however with Kouyate it now seems untenable.
The Senegalese midfielder earned a hero’s welcome upon his return from the African Cup of Nations, where he helped his side win the competition.
The 82-cap ace featured an impressive 27 times this season in the league for Patrick Vieira, and given his absence as he went away with his national team, it could be assumed this number would ordinarily be much higher.
It therefore makes his solid 6.85 average SofaScore rating all the more impressive, as he was clearly working relentlessly last season.
Having a player like him, who is comfortable with any role he is handed, is imperative for a team like Palace who relies on stability.
During the last campaign, Vieira labelled him “massively important” for his side, and also praised his role in Senegal’s cup win: “I knew how determined he was to win the competition… We will be really happy and proud for him.”
His defensive work both deputising at the back or in midfield is nothing short of exceptional, and his experience is priceless for the Eagles. He ranks in the 99th percentile for blocks and the 93rd percentile for clearances per 90 when compared to other midfielders.
It is therefore no surprise why the club wanted to ensure that the 32-year-old stayed at Selhurst Park for a little while longer.
As a result, supporters and Vieira alike will both be disappointed to see this stalwart leave on a free following his four years at the club.