It’s no secret where Crystal Palace need to strengthen in January. The Mail reports that Eagles boss Roy Hodgson wants to sign three players in the New Year – and at least one of those should be a striker with a decent goal record.
Though Fiorentina-specialist publication Viola News suggest that Palace are going in the right direction. The report claims that the agent of Fiorentina striker Khouma Babacar has held talks with goal-shy Palace about a potential transfer in the January window.
Patrick Bastianelli is understood to have met the club’s executives in London. And while Babacar turned down the chance to leave Florence for England in the summer, the 24-year-old is reportedly open to a move to the Premier League in 2018.
Viola News add that Brighton and West Brom are interested but Babacar is only interested in signing for a club in the capital. London-based Crystal Palace, then, are well positioned geographically and in the transfer market.
Babacar has been linked with a move to the Premier League for a number of years but has not really lived up to expectations at Fiorentina. Despite scoring ten Serie A goals in just 13 starts in 2016/17, it’s telling that the powerful striker has never started more than 15 games in a league season.
Under new Viola boss Stefano Pioli, all of Babacar’s nine Serie A appearances have come from the bench. The athletic frontman could expect to find first-team opportunities easier to come by, however, in a Palace side who have four goals from 11 league games to their name this season.
Babacar's preference for London comes as a major blow to West Brom, however, who continue to put their faith in Salomon Rondon despite the striker scoring just twice in the Premier League since last December.