Crystal Palace could finally replace instrumental midfielder Yohan Cabaye this summer, three years after he departed the club.
According to French outlet Homme du Match, the Eagles are preparing a £7m offer for the Scotland international Callum McGregor as new manager Patrick Vieira looks to add some class to his engine room options.
The Celtic captain has cultivated an enviable reputation for himself after winning 14 major trophies in his homeland, and he could be the perfect complement to Palace’s current options in the middle of the pitch.
After arriving at Selhurst Park in July 2015, Cabaye quickly became the heartbeat of a successful Palace side, dictating the tempo of their play with his quick thinking and precise passes, attributes which McGregor also possesses.
At the peak of his powers in south London during his first season with the capital club, the Frenchman averaged an impressive two shots per league game, 1.5 key passes and 0.4 dribbles, recording a passing accuracy of 82.6%, as per WhoScored.
While the likes of James McArthur, Luka Milivojevic and Cheikhou Kouyate have done an admirable job in the Palace midfielder since Cabaye’s departure, the trio are more industrious and pragmatic than their elegant predecessor.
Applying a touch of finesse to proceedings is something McGregor has been doing in Glasgow for a number of years now, and his impressive displays have earned many plaudits down the years, including former Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers.
“He controls the tempo of the game,” said Rodgers. “He is a boy that takes the ball, so clever in his movements, and we ask him to go into certain area of the pitch to offer support. He has a dream of a touch that allows him to go forward.
“His feet are nice and soft, he doesn’t play backwards so much, and he has a great range of passes, and he has the personality now to play those passes, not just one that is secure to keep the ball, he can break a line with a pass and open up and split up the game for us.
“He has been absolutely exceptional in that role, but I say that everywhere he plays.”
Therefore, Vieira would surely love to sign McGregor this summer, taking another significant step in his mission to overhaul the decaying squad Roy Hodgson left behind.