Crystal Palace could continue their overhaul of the first-team squad in January after being linked with a move for Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Rayan Aït Nouri.
According to French outlet Jeunes Footeux (via Sport Witness), both the Eagles and fellow Premier League outfit Newcastle United are eager to prise the promising 20-year-old away from Molineux over the coming months.
The report claims that it’s Palace who are ‘especially’ interested, though, with manager Patrick Vieira keen to bring in some cover and competition for Tyrick Mitchell at left-back.
It’s claimed that the French tactician has already informed his recruitment team that he wants to land Aït Nouri, although chairman Steve Parish will need to open his chequebook, with Wolves set to demand in the region of €25-30m (£21-26m) for their young star.
Following the departure of Patrick van Aanholt in the summer, Palace have been left with only one natural left-sided full-back in their first-team squad.
As a result, academy graduate Mitchell has played every minute of their Premier League campaign to date, something which is not sustainable in the long term.
Therefore, the capital club’s hierarchy must make their move for Aït Nouri over the winter window, and the £33,000-per-week ace could prove to be an exceptional piece of business.
The France U21 international arrived at Wolves on an initial season-long loan from Ligue 1 side SCO Angers in October 2020 before making the move permanent 12 months later.
In that time, Aït Nouri has racked up 34 appearances for the Midlands outfit, putting in several eye-catching displays along the way.
Following a particularly impressive performance last term – ironically against Palace – The Athletic’s Tim Spiers lauded his ‘phenomenal’ showing.
“Ait-Nouri was phenomenal,” said Spiers (as relayed by This is Futbol). “I know it’s only one game and he’s a kid, and he got a lot of space at times, but he played with such enthusiasm and really helped stretch that game out on the left.”
And The Express & Stars journalist Liam Keen was also effusive in his praise for Aït Nouri as Wolves saw off Everton in the opening weeks of the current campaign.
“I thought he was very good today, defensively good; going forward, he offers something very, very different to Marcal, who’s not great going forward, let’s be honest. He gets the crowd on their feet, and that’s what you need,” Keen said.
With Palace in need of defensive cover and Aït Nouri showing bags of potential, it’s a deal that makes sense for many reasons for the south London side.