Crystal Palace have been linked with a move for Huddersfield Town midfielder Lewis O’Brien as new manager Patrick Vieira continues to overhaul the first-team squad.
According to Football Insider, a source has revealed that the Eagles are keen to secure the 22-year-old’s services this summer, with fellow Premier League club Leeds United also credited with an interest. Marcelo Bielsa’s side reportedly tabled an opening offer of around £3m for O’Brien, and the Argentine is said to be “exasperated” that Leeds are yet to make a breakthrough in negotiations.
However, the standoff in talks appears to have opened the door for Palace to swoop in. The report claims that the Terriers initially demanded £10m for their prized asset but would now likely accept a seven-figure fee.
O’Brien has entered the final 12 months of his current contract at the John Smith’s Stadium, so he may be available in a cut-price deal, although Huddersfield do have the option of triggering a one-year extension clause.
After rising through the ranks at his boyhood club, O’Brien has established himself as one of Huddersfield’s most promising midfielders, scoring five goals and providing seven assists in 82 appearances for the Yorkshire outfit.
Vieira has already bolstered his midfield engine room options in the shape of Conor Gallagher on loan, but with James McCarthy departing and Cheikhou Kouyate linked with an imminent exit, the former Nice boss may need added reinforcements for the upcoming campaign.
Therefore, Palace chairman Steve Parish must swoop for O’Brien, snatching a much-coveted transfer target from under Leeds’ nose.
The youthful pair would add energy, technical ability and running power to the Eagles’ midfield, attributes which have been desperately lacking in recent years as Roy Hodgson’s side grew old together.
Palace have been targeting young, exciting acquisitions in the current window, changing the landscape at Selhurst Park in the process, and O’Brien should certainly fit into the makeup of the new-look side.
It remains to be seen whether the Eagles follow up their interest with a formal offer, but many supporters must surely be hoping that they do.