A major update has emerged in Crystal Palace’s pursuit of FC Cologne defender Sebastiaan Bornauw ahead of the upcoming transfer window.
What’s the story?
The Eagles have been linked with the 6 ft 2 beast in recent weeks as chairman Steve Parish plots a major squad overhaul, but a new development has now emerged.
According to German outlet Bild, the Bundesliga outfit have set an asking price of just £13m for Bornauw after he impressed throughout last season.
Fans will be buzzing
As things stand, Palace are currently set to lose three first-team centre-backs in the shape of Gary Cahill, Mamadou Sakho and Scott Dann when their contracts expire at the end of the month.
Bornauw is another intriguing option for the south London outfit, though, and the 22-year-old has already attracted the attention of several sides across the continent.
Cologne have rejected a £9m offer from fellow Bundesliga side Wolfsburg for their prized assets services, while Premier League newcomers Norwich City are also thought to be keen on his signature.
It’s little surprise that the youngster is capturing the interest of so many clubs, thanks to a string of magnificent displays in his two years at the RheinEnergieStadion.
Bornauw uses his sizeable physique and stature to dominate opponents in the air, bagging seven goals in 57 appearances for the Billy Goats.
But, as all good defenders should do, he also excels at the back. His 1.7 interceptions per league game was the third-highest tally amongst his teammates, while Bornauw’s total of 4.2 clearances and 1.1 blocks bettered that of anyone in the Cologne first-team squad.
Seeing off competition for the Anderlecht academy graduate may be hard as Wolfsburg can offer Champions League football, but his arrival at Selhurst Park would solve multiple problems.
The holes in the heart of defence would be plugged, and the major issue regarding Palace’s ageing squad would, at least in part, begin to be addressed.
An average age of 28.8 last season meant the Eagles had the oldest side in the top-flight last season, and news that one of the club’s top targets is available at a very reasonable price will surely have Parish buzzing.