Journalist Pete O’Rourke has claimed that Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira has held a “long-term interest” in Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah amid links to Selhurst Park.
Nketiah has entered the final six months of his £45,000-per-week contract at the Emirates Stadium, meaning the current transfer window is the Gunners’ final opportunity to cash-in on their academy product.
What’s the latest news involving Nketiah?
It has been revealed by The Sun that Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion are keen to strike a deal which would keep Nketiah in the Premier League.
The report suggests Eagles boss Vieira is keen to welcome another striker to Selhurst Park before the transfer window slams shut, while arch-rivals Brighton want the 22-year-old after allowing fellow frontman Aaron Connolly to join Championship side Middlesbrough on loan until the end of the season.
However, there appears to also be interest from overseas as Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen have opened discussions over a pre-contract agreement which would see Nketiah head to Germany on a free transfer in July.
Arsenal revealed prior to the opening of last summer’s transfer window that they were willing to sell Nketiah.
That resulted in Vieira setting his sights on welcoming the striker to Selhurst Park but he opted to sign Odsonne Edouard from Celtic on deadline day after refusing to meet the Gunners’ £20million price tag.
What has Pete O’Rourke said about Nketiah?
O’Rourke is not surprised that Palace remain interested in Nketiah due to Vieira wanting to secure his services shortly after his summer appointment.
However, the journalist is unsure as to whether the Eagles boss will succeed in his pursuit of the striker as he is not the only admirer.
Chelsea FORCE Tottenham disasterclass! Full reaction on The Football Terrace to Carabao Cup win!
O’Rourke told GIVEMESPORT: “There’s other clubs interested in Nketiah.
“The likes of Brighton have been mentioned but Crystal Palace have held a long-term interest in Nketiah. They tried to get him in the summer but it didn’t happen in the end.”
Why are Palace interested in Nketiah?
Palace have scored 15 more Premier League goals than eighth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers, so they clearly know where the back of the net is.
But Nketiah would add even more firepower as, despite being in the early stages of his career, the 17-cap England under-21 international has already been prolific.
He broke the record to become the England under-21s’ all-time leading goalscorer, having got his name on the scoresheet 16 times, while he grabbed a hat-trick in Arsenal’s 5-1 Carabao Cup clash with Sunderland last month.
Despite seeing his opportunities limited with his current employers this season, Nketiah went into the weekend having racked up five goals.
Read More – January Transfer Window 2022: When does it open, when does it close and which players are going to move?