According to TEAMtalk, the 23-year-old is at the centre of something of a transfer tussle, with the Eagles one of six Premier League sides believed to be keen on his signature, having caught the eye for the Championship play-off hopefuls this season.
The report suggests that the Terriers’ vice-captain does have a £12m release in his current deal which is likely to be activated this summer, albeit with his future potentially resting on whether or not Carlos Corberan’s side can achieve promotion in the coming weeks.
O’Brien’s arrival at Selhurst Park could provide Patrick Vieira with the perfect upgrade to current midfield stalwart James McArthur, the long-serving 34-year-old currently approaching the end of his existing deal.
In the Huddersfield man, Palace have identified the ideal candidate to fill the Scotsman’s boots, with the dynamic midfielder having been earning plenty of plaudits for his displays in the second tier in recent times.
Pundit Jobi McAnuff was particularly complimentary of the Colchester born gem’s displays, insisting that “he’s got a bit of everything” such is his all-action, combative style in the centre of the park.
The one-time Bradford City loanee has chipped in with three goals and three assists so far this season in 43 league games – all of which have come as starts – while he also averages one key pass per game and has completed 70% of his total dribbles.
Equally, in a defensive sense, the £3k-per-week maestro has also caught the eye, winning a solid 56% of his total duels, as well as recording 2.2 tackles, 0.8 interceptions and 0.9 clearances per 90.
That form has been instrumental in helping guide his current side to a remarkable third-place finish in the table, with the 5 foot 8 playmaker having also captained the club in the absence of Jonathan Hogg.
Vieira will no doubt be looking for leaders to add to his side next season and O’Brien could well be the perfect addition, with it a case of out with the old and in with the new.
The aforementioned McArthur is the man who should seemingly be the casualty of the younger man’s arrival, the veteran having failed to score so far this term and won just 48% of his total duels, with fresher legs potentially needed.