Crystal Palace have reportedly pulled out of the race to sign Schalke 04 defender Ozan Kabak.
What’s the story?
The Eagles have been heavily linked with a move for the highly-rated 21-year-old throughout the summer as new manager Patrick Vieira attempts to overhaul the first-team squad.
However, according to well-known journalist Ed Aarons, Palace have now dropped their interest in Kabak, with Spanish heavyweights Sevilla jumping to the front of the queue for this signature.
He tweeted: “Palace have now dropped their interest in Ozan Kabak, with Sevilla now looking most likely destination for the Turkey defender”.
Do Palace need another centre-back?
Patrick Vieira will be gutted
A recent report by German outlet Bild (as relayed by Sport Witness), claimed Palace had ‘offered €8m so far’ for the Turkey international, but it seems as though they never followed up their interest in the centre-back.
Vieira has already added significant strength in the heart of defence, signing Marc Guehi and Joachim Andersen from Chelsea and Lyon respectively.
Nevertheless, the French tactician will still surely be gutted that chairman Steve Parish and sporting director Dougie Freedman were unable to secure the services of Kabak.
With the experienced trio of Gary Cahill, Mamadou Sakho and Scott Dann departing on free transfers, the former Nice boss may feel he is still rather light on numbers in central defence.
While Martin Kelly and Cheikhou Kouyate are capable deputies, neither are natural centre-backs, leaving James Tomkins are the only conventional backup.
And although a new right-winger and another striker should arguably take priority for the capital club over another defender, missing out on the chance the snap up such a promising prospect as Kabak in a cut-price deal is something Palace will be disappointed about.
Schalke’s relegation to the second tier of German football left them desperate to offload one of their highest earners, and his time on loan at Liverpool last season showcased his ability and potential.
His arrival at Selhurst Park would have added genuine strength in depth to Vieira’s ranks, but it’s looking increasingly unlikely that Kabak will be returning to English shores this summer.