Crystal Palace have had a quiet transfer window so far, but have been heavily linked to one particular player from Patrick Vieira’s former club this January, but it looks like there has been a blow to those plans.
Mikel Arteta took to his pre-match press conference ahead of the FA Cup clash against Liverpool to respond to rumours that Eddie Nketiah could be on the move this January.
The Arsenal manager simply told the media:
“The situation is that Eddie is our player and he’s going to stay here with us.”
The 22-year-old forward has been linked with a move away from the club as he enters the last six months of his contract, with both Brighton and Crystal Palace said to be interested in signing him during this window.
However, with Arteta’s response, they could now have to wait and battle to get the striker on a free in the summer.
This news will be a blow to Vieira’s transfer window plans, as the club is rumoured to potentially be losing Jean-Philippe Mateta this January, with an impending recall from his parent club, Mainz, amid interest from Saint Etienne.
That led to Nketiah being speculated as the player to become his replacement and fill the position.
The setback comes as former Palace manager, Roy Hodgson confirmed that the youngster has been a “long term interest” for the London club when he spoke on Sky Sports Transfer Show last Friday evening:
“He’s a player that’s been on the radar for a number of years let alone months,” said the former England boss.
“He’s a player who I know everyone at the club admires very much and I think he’s the right type of player that Patrick [Vieira] might be interested in – a forward of his type.
“I can imagine him being exactly the type of player that Patrick Vieira would like because he’d know a lot about him because I’m sure his contacts at Arsenal are still very good. He’ll know a lot about him as a person as well.”
Nketiah has not signed a new contract with Arsenal yet, despite having less than six months on his current one, which could be a blessing in disguise for the Eagles.
They could save their money this January and sign the striker on a free transfer in a matter of months, thus, taking the pressure off the Palace manager and the team if they can hold onto Mateta at Selhurst Park for the rest of the season.
That said, the Eagles boss will still be gutted at not getting the chance to acquire him this winter as Nketiah’s tally of five goals in just three EFL Cup outings shows he’s a man in form this term.