Crystal Palace Transfer News: Eagles in talks over defender deal

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira giving instructions on the touchline

Crystal Palace are in talks with Schalke over the potential signing of centre-back Ozan Kabak, as reported by The Guardian.

What’s the latest transfer news on Kabak?

The Eagles are currently discussing a transfer fee with the German club for the 21-year-old who spent the second half of last season on loan at Liverpool.

Completing a deal for the Turkish international may not be straightforward, though, as it has been reported that Kabak is also attracting interest from teams in Germany and Spain.

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Have Schalke lowered their asking price for Kabak?

Last week, it was claimed that Schalke wanted at least €15m (£12.8m) in order to let Kabak go this summer.

However, it appears that they are keen on offloading the defender after being relegated from the Bundesliga last term, and this could mean that they are willing to accept a lower offer for his services. It is now believed that Kabak’s price-tag has dropped slightly to £10-£12m.

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Is there a theme emerging with Palace’s signing this summer?

Palace had the oldest squad in the Premier League in 2020/21, with the average age of the 24 players that they used being 28.8. This summer they seem to be taking steps to change that.

They have already signed Michael Olise and Marc Guehi earlier this month who are 19 and 21, respectively. The south London club are now targeting Kabak, who also only turned 21 in March, highlighting how there appears to be a clear focus on putting faith in youth at Selhurst Park ahead of the new season.

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Is there an element of risk with Palace’s recruitment in central defence?

There does seem to be. 

If Palace can get a deal over the line for Kabak, they will have signed two very inexperienced centre-backs at Premier League level this summer. Kabak has made just nine appearances in England’s top-flight, while Guehi has never featured in the Premier League.

Furthermore, Palace look to be limited in terms of other options at the heart of their defence. James Tomkins has consistently struggled with injuries and illness in recent times, while Cheikhou Kouyate is arguably more suited to playing in midfield, and Jaroslaw Jach has only played for the side in the League Cup once.

Therefore, Patrick Vieira could be left to rely on a young central defensive partnership of Kabak and Guehi heading into next season, which could be a risky move as neither man has shown that they can consistently perform at this level so far in their fledgling careers.

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