Khouma Babacar has been linked with a move to the Premier League ever since he burst onto the scene with Fiorentina back in 2014/15.
Yet, the 24-year-old remains in Serie A despite renewed attempts to take him to England during the summer transfer window. The Daily Mail (page 63, September 1) reported that Everton made a late deadline-day bid to sign Babacar but a Fiorentina side shorn of Nikola Kalinic, who moved to AC Milan, refused to sell.
However, Babacar could well be dominating the gossip columns again as early as January. Because Calciomercato report that Crystal Palace have a strong interest in a player who scored a hugely impressive 14 goals in 29 games in all competitions last season.
It does not take a genius to work out why Palace are keen. They are the only team in the 25 years of Premier League football to have failed to score in any of their opening six matches of a new season.
As a result, they sit bottom of the table without a point to their name. Christian Benteke, the only fit and senior centre-forward on the club’s books, is without a goal in seven and looks out of sorts.
And any hopes of finally bringing Babacar to the Premier League have surely been boosted by the fact that that the Senegal international has played only 63 minutes of football in Serie A this season with Giovanni Simeone, a summer signing from Genoa, the club’s new first-choice centre-forward.
If Palace do get their man, Everton will be hoping that they will not regret missing out. The Toffees still need a replacement for Romelu Lukaku and it remains to be seen whether Oumar Niasse, who stepped off the bench to score twice in Saturday’s 2-1 turnaround against Bournemouth, can step into the Belgian’s shoes on a long-term basis.