Crystal Palace have been contemplating a move for Sporting Lisbon's Algerian striker Islam Slimani, according to several news sources such as Portuguese newspaper Abola.
Allegedly, Palace are looking to pay around £10 million for the 26-year-old, after such an impressive World Cup, but he is reported to have a €30 million release clause with his current club.
The asking price is understandably daunting to many Eagles fans, considering the club's transfer record was broken last year to bring Dwight Gayle to South London for a £4.5 million fee.
Gayle did not feature as regularly as you would hope a record signing might, but his end to the season rocketed him to the top of Palace's goal scoring charts and also bode well for next term.
Slimani - a good option?
In a world where Ross McCormack costs £11 million, fans may be right to be slightly dismayed - but the signing of Slimani could be exactly what Palace need.
Last term, the Algerian hitman notched eight goals in 26 league appearances for Sporting Lisbon. This is far from prolific, but it is certainly promising considering the fact that it is one more than Gayle in three more games.
£10 million - or indeed €30 million - for 'one more goal' than a striker Palace already own doesn't seem like great business, but Slimani's 0.5 goals per game for his country adds a bit of weight to the argument for signing the striker. In 24 games he has scored 12 times for Algeria, including two vital strikes and an assist at this summer's World Cup in Brazil.
Good World Cup display
In addition to this, his performance against Germany in the round of 16 was fantastic. The striker ran the German backline ragged, causing all sorts of problems during his country's spirited defeat at the hands of one of the tournament's favourites.
He even scored a masterful diving header which would have given the North Africans the lead, but it was ruled out for offside.
Slimani tends to play as a striker, which would provide Tony Pulis with a different option in attack. Gayle is a quick, intelligent striker who is lethal on his day (just ask Liverpool) and can have a real impact next season, but he can't do it alone.
Marouane Chamakh is close to agreeing a new deal with the Eagles and has become a bit of a fan favourite, but he can't be relied on to grab the necessary goals to keep Palace in the top-flight.
Palace need to act sooner rather than later if they are going to make a move for the striker. With a plethora of European clubs, including several from the Premier League, believed to be chasing his signature, he could soon become too expensive for the Eagles.
His power and aerial prowess could grab Palace some priceless goals this season and give wingers Yannick Bolasie and Jason Puncheon (and hopefully Wilfried Zaha) a firm, reliable target in the opposition's box which is something that was lacking last year.
Worth the risk
All in all, the Algerian could well be worth the risk if he chips in with some goals and builds on his decent first season in Portugal and terrific World Cup. He has the potential to be a real asset to the South London club, it's just a case of whether they want to break their transfer record by over double the previous figure.
The fact they are being linked with the move in the first place shows a real progression in the transfer policy from last year's bulk buy, the club's hierarchy are looking to make more effective signings rather than panic spending.
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