Crystal Palace are believed to be ready to battle it out for the signing of Napoli forward Hirving Lozano.
According to Area Napoli, the Eagles are said to have joined fellow Premier League side West Ham United in the race to sign the 26-year-old this summer, with the Mexico international said to be keen on a move to England.
However, the report suggests that the former PSV Eindhoven man – who has two years remaining on his existing deal in Naples – could prove too costly for the two clubs due to his €20m (£17m) asking price, along with his reported €4.5m (£4m) annual salary.
The belief is that ‘unless a very tempting proposal’ is received by the Serie A club, the likelihood is that the 56-cap menace will remain at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium for another season.
While it may prove a complicated deal to get over the line, adding Lozano to Patrick Vieira’s squad would no doubt be a major coup for Palace, with the dynamic forward having proven himself to be a hugely exciting talent in recent years.
The 2021/22 campaign saw the £27m-rated star register five goals and five assists in 30 league appearances for Luciano Spalleti’s side, taking his total haul to 26 goals and 13 assists in 114 outings across all competitions for the Azzurri since joining the club on a £36m deal in 2019.
Prior to that, the one-time Pachuca ace had netted 40 goals and provided 23 assists in just 79 games during his time in Eindhoven, with that explosive form unsurprisingly seeing him dubbed a “goal machine” by journalist Cesar Hernandez.
Nicknamed ‘Chucky’, the 5 foot 10 speedster also put himself on the radar of clubs across Europe following his match-winning effort against Germany in Mexico’s shock group stage victory at the 2018 World Cup.
Although he has perhaps not quite kicked on as was expected since moving to his current club three years ago, he remains a hugely impressive talent regardless, with those at Selhurst Park no doubt set to be delighted to welcome him through the door.
His arrival could also help to form what would be a truly devastating attacking partnership alongside long-serving talisman Wilfried Zaha, with the pair able to pose a real threat down opposing flanks.
With Lozano largely featuring on the right of Napoli’s attack in recent years, he could well provide more balance to a team which has been far too reliant on the goalscoring exploits of Zaha off the left over the years. The Ivorian contributed to 28% of his club’s goals last term – the third-highest percentage in the Premier League.
The latter’s current record with the Eagles stands at an impressive haul of 83 goals and 73 assists in 429 games in all competitions, having proven himself to be the club’s shining light year in, year out.
Adding yet another weapon to the squad in the form of Lozano could help to ease that attacking burden on Zaha, and it’s simply a mouthwatering thought to picture the two of them running riot in tandem at Selhurst Park next term.