Crystal Palace transfer news: Fresh claim emerges on Mateta's Selhurst Park future

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Sky Sports reporter Michael Bridge has revealed Crystal Palace are ‘under no pressure’ to sign striker Jean-Philippe Mateta on a permanent basis. 

The 24-year-old joined the Eagles on an 18-month loan deal last January from German outfit Mainz 05, but things have not worked out for the striker as planned. 

What is the latest news involving Mateta?

Palace paid an initial £2.7 million loan fee for the 6 foot 3 flop and have an option to make the move permanent for a further £13.4m which will become an obligation if Mateta starts 15 Premier League games.

However, the former France Under-21 international has only featured from the off on four occasions in the top-flight to date, meaning that clause is currently in no danger of being activated. 

The Sun reported back in October that Palace manager Patrick Vieira was set to cut Mateta’s spell at Selhurst Park short after being unimpressed with his performances, giving them space to get an extra forward in January with an extra wage off the payroll.

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But it has since been revealed that the capital club are unwilling to let him depart until they can sign a replacement first.

With Wilfried Zaha and Jordan Ayew currently on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations, Vieira’s forward line is relatively threadbare and the 45-year-old tactician is unwilling to lose any more bodies. 

What has Bridge said about Mateta?

Although Mateta has shown improvements in recent weeks, scoring two goals in his last three outings, including the winner against Millwall in the FA Cup, he doesn’t appear to have a long-term future at Palace. 

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And Bridge has confirmed that the south London outfit are ‘nowhere near’ reaching the clause forcing them to splash out on the striker. 

He told GiveMeSport: “The deal at the moment with buying Mateta in terms of how many games he’s played for Palace, they’re nowhere near it. So, they’re under no pressure with that at the moment.”

Who could replace Mateta?

Palace are believed to have blocked Mateta’s move to Ligue 1 side Saint-Etienne as they continue to search for his replacement. 

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Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah is believed to be at the top of Vieira’s wish list after he saw a £10m bid rejected for the 22-year-old last summer, although Mikel Arteta is adamant he’s staying at the club. 

Nketiah only has six months remaining on his contract and has refused the offer of a new deal, but Arteta declared the youngster ‘is going to stay’ until the end of the season, meaning Palace may be forced to move on to other options this winter.

Read More – January Transfer Window 2022: When does it open, when does it close and which players are going to move?

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