JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP via Getty Images

Crystal Palace are in the race to sign departing Metz striker Habib Diallo this summer, according to Wiw Sport.

While the Premier League’s perennial overachievers have enjoyed another respectable campaign, they are perhaps one reliable centre-forward away from swapping mid-table mediocrity for a Europa League push.

Christian Benteke is still a shadow of his former self after all.

And Palace have averaged less than a goal a game this season, with just 30 strikes in 34 matches to their name.

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No wonder Roy Hodgson is desperate to bring a new number nine to Selhurst Park this summer.

“My simple answer is we’d look for a good one and one with a proven goalscoring record, that would be rather nice,” Hodgson told the Standard after Palace were beaten 3-0 by a Jamie Vardy-inspired Leicester City.

“Because if you look at the teams doing rather well this year, you see Leicester and what Vardy does with the goals and how he has helped them along the way, and you look at Southampton with Danny Ings in particular.”

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Signing Diallo, then, would certainly represent a step in the right direction.

Wiw Sports claim that Palace have joined Tottenham, Chelsea and promotion-chasing Leeds United in the race for a rangy striker whose penchant for making perfectly-timed runs in behind the opposition defence have led to comparisons with Vardy himself.

The £18 million-rated Diallo scored 12 Ligue 1 goals for a limited Metz side in 2019/20.

And club president Bernard Serin told FranceBleu in May that, if an acceptable offer arrives, his star striker will leave this summer.

“He is 24-years-old, it is time for him to pursue his career elsewhere,” Serin says. “Our objective is to sell Habib Diallo.”

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