Report: Palace emerge as surprise contenders to sign Stoke City's Marko Arnautovic

Marko Arnautovic celebrates after scoring the first goal for Stoke

Crystal Palace have entered the race for Stoke City’s Marko Arnautovic.

Stoke's Marko Arnautovic in actionStoke's Marko Arnautovic in action

According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Crystal Palace are keen on signing Marko Arnautovic.

The report claims the Stoke City forward may change clubs this summer after three seasons at the Britannia Stadium, and that Palace have emerged as a surprise contender to bring him in.

The talented forward has made a big strides at Stoke since joining the club, scoring just five goals in his first two seasons before finally coming alive this past season with an impressive 11 goals.

Marko Arnautovic scores the first goal for StokeMarko Arnautovic scores the first goal for Stoke

The Austria international is strong in the air, capable of using both feet and ideal as a lone target man.

Stoke are seemingly keen on keeping hold of him, yet with a contract which expires in 12 month time, the club may be forced to sell him now rather than risk losing him for free next year.

A recent report in the Express claimed that newly-appointed Everton boss Ronald Koeman wants to make him his first signing with The Toffees, and in response the Potters are asking for £13 million.

Stoke's Marko Arnautovic in action with Sunderland's Fabio BoriniStoke's Marko Arnautovic in action with Sunderland's Fabio Borini

However, fresh reports from Gianluca Di Marzio name Palace as the leading club eyeing a deal, with boss Alan Pardew looking to bolster this striker options this summer.

The Eagles experienced an inconsistent campaign last term, undergoing a poor run of form after the New Year but reaching the FA Cup final where they suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat to Manchester United.

Arnautovic would undoubtedly improve Palace’s first-team eleven, though leaving Stoke for Selhurst Park could be considered a sideways switch considering the status of both clubs.

Marko Arnautovic celebrates after scoring the first goal for StokeMarko Arnautovic celebrates after scoring the first goal for Stoke

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