Crystal Palace have suffered a major blow in their pursuit of Blackburn Rovers striker Adam Armstrong.
The Eagles have been linked with the highly-rated 24-year-old in recent weeks as new manager Patrick Vieira looks to bolster his attacking options.
However, according to HampshireLive reporter Tom Leach, Rovers have accepted an offer worth up to £15 million from Southampton for Armstrong, meaning a move to Selhurst Park could be off the cards.
The former England Under-21 international enjoyed a stellar 2020/21 campaign, bagging 29 goals and providing five assists in 43 appearances for Tony Mowbray’s charges.
His outstanding displays for the Lancashire outfit caught the eye of several impressed onlookers, including his current manager at Ewood Park.
“Adam does (make a difference) as he has done all season. I think Adam has matured, and he’s only 23,” Mowbray told FourFourTwo last term.
“He’s a boy really, but his explosive pace at the top end of the pitch allows you to play both ways, to not be overly concerned if you’re pinned back around the edge of your box because one pass releases pressure to someone like (Harvey) Elliott to play the pass that he can hit just leaving it in the space for the speed and dynamic movement of Armstrong – it’s a devastating effect for the team.”
Despite Armstrong only having one year remaining on his current contract, the Championship outfit are keen to secure a good deal for him as Newcastle United are due to receive 40% of their profit on the diminutive forward, agreed as part of the deal when they sold him to Blackburn for £1.8m back in 2018.
While personal terms have yet to be agreed between Southampton and Armstrong, a large section of Palace fans are still likely to be gutted at this latest revelation.
The Eagles have added several exciting, young acquisitions to their first-team setup this summer, but the arrival of a proven goalscorer would have been welcomed with open arms by Vieira.
Doubts reportedly remain over the quality of on-loan hitman Jean-Philippe Mateta, who scored just one goal in seven top-flight appearances for the capital club last term, and the need for extra firepower at Selhurst Park remains.