Crystal Palace look set to secure the signature of Chelsea defender Marc Guehi over the coming days.
According to well-respected journalist and transfer expert David Ornstein, the Eagles are close to completing a deal for the 21-year-old as they continue to rebuild their first-team squad.
He tweeted: “Exclusive: Crystal Palace close to completing permanent signing of Chelsea defender Marc Guehi. 21yo having medical today ahead of penning 5yr deal. #CFC have sell-on clause + matching rights on future move.”
Palace were in the transfer market for a young centre-back this summer following the departures of Scott Dann, Mamadou Sakho and Gary Cahill, with their sporting director Dougie Freedman reportedly leading the charge for Guehi.
The highly-rated youngster caught the eye during an 18-month loan spell at Championship outfit Swansea City in recent seasons, attracting admiring glances from several sides in England and abroad.
Chelsea were believed to have placed a price tag between £15 million and £20m on Guehi’s head amid significant interest in his services, but most admirers favoured a loan with an option to buy, whereas Palace were seemingly prepared to pay his asking price, emerging as the best option for both the Blues and the player.
His arrival in south London will make him the club’s third signing of the current window following the purchases of former Reading midfielder Michael Olise and goalkeeper Remi Matthews, indicating that new manager Patrick Vieira will be significantly backed in the transfer market.
And news of Guehi’s imminent arrival will surely leave the Palace supporters buzzing. A major squad rebuild is needed at Selhurst Park over the coming month, and the Englishman’s acquisition should be seen as a significant coup.
The Eagles had the oldest squad in the Premier League last term, and James Tomkins is currently the only recognised centre-back on the books, meaning Guehi’s arrival addresses two major weaknesses in the current setup.
Several more signings will likely be needed ahead of the upcoming campaign in order for Vieira to achieve success in south London, but bringing in Olise and Guehi is a fabulous start to the summer for Palace.