Crystal Palace have reportedly received an offer from Süper Lig outfit Trabzonspor for their versatile midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate.
The report states that Trabzonspor want a player who can operate in central midfield and defence, meaning Kouyate fits the bill perfectly following last season’s exploits.
News that the Palace hierarchy are thought to be negotiating Kouyate’s potential exit will surely leave new manager Patrick Vieira fuming.
The Senegal international was one of the south London outfit’s standout performers last season, filling in at centre-back on several occasions due to his teammates picking up a string of injury issues – as per Whoscored, he finished as the joint-ninth best player in terms of average match rating for Palace.
And the experienced 31-year-old could play a crucial part for Palace next term as well.
Following the departures of Gary Cahill, Mamadou Sakho, Scott Dann and James McCarthy following the expiration of their contract last month, the Eagles’ spine is looking extremely threadbare.
Kouyate has showcased his ability and potential to play in multiple positions, providing Vieira with cover and competitions through the centre of the pitch.
Since arriving at Selhurst Park back in August 2018, the £65k-per-week monster has established himself as a regular in the capital club’s starting XI.
Despite only bagging two goals and providing four assists in 110 appearances for Palace, Kouyate has made a significant contribution to their success, and chairman Steve Parish must keep hold of him this summer.
Letting an experienced, versatile, proven Premier League performer depart when Vieira is set to oversee a potentially tricky transitional period could prove to be a disastrous decision.
The club’s chief must be careful not to change the playing squad too quickly over the next couple of years, and Kouyate’s presence would add some stability and familiarity to a fast-changing environment.