According to Foot Afrique, Crystal Palace are prioritising the signing of Youcef Atal from OGC Nice, a player Patrick Vieira has worked with before.
What’s the story?
Well, the Eagles could definitely do with a new right-back.
Joel Ward extended his contract, but other than him, Vieira only has the injured Nathan Ferguson in his right-back department.
Nathaniel Clyne has featured heavily in pre-season for the south Londoners, but he is yet to actually sign a new contract like Ward.
Regardless, even if Clyne does sign a contract, Atal is a versatile figure who can also operate further forward on the right flank.
Under the Frenchman, Atal played as a right-back 17 times, and also on the left and right side of the attack.
What has Patrick Vieira said about Youcef Atal?
Speaking to the BBC, Vieira has previously heaped praise on the 25-year-old, who could soon follow him to Selhurst Park.
The 45-year-old said: “Youcef is improving. He works a lot. If you look at his goals, you see the aggression he has to be in the right place to score.”
It’s a huge bonus for Vieira to have already worked with Atal.
Surely, there won’t need to be much scouting or groundwork done by Steve Parish or Dougie Freedman if the Algerian’s former coach has given the deal his seal of approval.
However, one thing Crystal Palace should worry about is his injury history.
After recovering from a serious knee injury, Atal missed a total of 23 games last season with a number of different injuries.
After Ferguson’s issues, the last thing Crystal Palace need is another crocked right-back.
If Atal can’t prove his fitness, the south Londoners should steer clear.