Report: Crystal Palace battling Tottenham for Hiroki Sakai

Roy Hodgson, Manager of Crystal Palace (L) embraces Mauricio Pochettino, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace at...

Tottenham Hotspur could face competition from Crystal Palace for Hiroki Sakai.

Hiroki Sakai of Marseille during the Ligue 1 match between Toulouse and Marseille at Stadium Municipal on May 18, 2019 in Toulouse, France.

According to But Football Club, Marseille have now identified Napoli's Kevin Malcuit as a replacement for Hiroki Sakai amid links to Premier League clubs.

Sakai won Marseille's Player of the Year award, as voted for by fans, who love the right back's consistent and committed performances for the Ligue 1 side.

The 29-year-old is now wanted in England, and it's believed that they are now keen to sign ex-Lille star Malcuit this summer in order to replace Sakai and challenge with Bouna Sarr.

 

Malcuit has struggled for first-team football with Napoli, and Marseille are now willing to offer him a return to France to get his career started again.

That will interest Tottenham, as Sky Sports reported just a fortnight ago that Spurs are eyeing up the Japanese international as a potential signing as they look at right back targets.

Spurs have concerns about Sakai's age, and the But report claims that Crystal Palace are now entering the race to sign the former Hannover ace.

Kevin Malcuit of SSC Napoli in action during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and Udinese at Stadio San Paolo on March 17, 2019 in Naples, Italy.

Palace look set to lose Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United in a big-money deal, meaning they would not only be able to offer Sakai a starting role, but they'll also have the cash to do a deal.

In truth, Sakai seems like more of a Palace signing than a Tottenham one. Sakai is solid and dependable without being particularly flashy, and he would slot into the Palace defence rather than fight to get into a Champions League side under Mauricio Pochettino.

Roy Hodgson, Manager of Crystal Palace (L) embraces Mauricio Pochettino, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace at...

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