According to the Guardian, Crystal Palace have agreed a €38m fee for Marseille’s wantaway Belgian international striker Michy Batshuayi.
Palace chairman Steve Parish is thought to have secured the deal, worth approximately £31.6m, by offering directly to Marseille’s president, Vincent Labrune.
West Ham United and Juventus are thought to be among the clubs who have tabled bids for the 22-year-old front-man, but Parish will hope to have put his side at the head of the queue by negotiating directly with Labrune.
A bonus payment and a significant sell-on clause are among the incentives Palace hope will swing the deal their way, especially as Marseille seek to offset the fact that they have to pay 35% of any fee received for Batshuayi to his former club Standard Liege.
With 31-year-old goalkeeper Steve Mandanda set to make the move from Stade Veledrome to Selhurst Park, on a free transfer, Alan Pardew will also hope that Batshuayi’s former captain can persuade him to shun advances from elsewhere and join the FA Cup finalists.
It is widely believed that the lack of a top-quality striker was Palace’s greatest weakness last season, as they slipped into a late-season relegation battle, having been fifth at the turn of the year, so the arrival of Batshuayi, who scored 17 times in Ligue 1 last season, would be a huge boost.
It is also thought that Palace have triggered Andros Townsend’s £10.5m release clause at Pardew’s recently-relegated former club Newcastle United, with the ex-Spurs winger having recaptured some form since his January move to Tyneside.
The triple swoop is not only a sign of Palace’s lofty ambitions, with Parish and Pardew at the helm, but also an indication of how the new bumper £5bn television rights deal for Premier League action has affected the landscape of the game.
Not many Crystal Palace fans would have expected to see the day where their side are going toe-to-toe with Italian heavyweights Juventus for one of the game’s most sought after talents.