Crystal Palace ponder £5m bid for Celtic skipper Scott Brown
Crystal Palace, Coral’s 13/10 second-favourites for Premier League relegation, could launch a £5m January transfer window bid for Celtic captain Scott Brown, according to reports in Scotland.
Eagles boss Neil Warnock is understood to be a big fan of the 29-year-old central midfielder, capped 40 times for the Scots, and has scouted the Bhoys skipper personally. Reprising an old engine room partnership with Wales international Joe Ledley could tempt Brown to make a move from Glasgow to London.
If he joins Palace, Brown would walk into a Selhurst Park dressing room that contains compatriots Barry Bannan and James McArthur, both of whom are also in the Scotland squad that face a British Isles double header against Ireland and England.
How Warnock would accommodate that pair, Ledley, Eagles captain Mile Jedinak and Brown in the same midfield remains to be seen. Another addition in that area would surely mark the end of out-of-favour Algeria international Adlene Guedioura’s time in south London, who has been reduced to late cameos as a substitute.
Former clubs Nottingham Forest and Wolverhampton Wanderers, who are both in the Championship’s promotion mix, would welcome midfield reinforcements. Reds boss Stuart Pearce is without key pair Chris Cohen and Andy Reid at the City Ground, while Wolves head coach Kenny Jackett has lost Wales international David Edwards to medial knee ligament damage.
In other Palace news, the club risk losing defensive duo Damien Delaney and Joel Ward, with the former out-of-contract this summer and the latter next year, despite Palace opening dialogue over new deals with both. Tabloid reports suggest Republic of Ireland international Delaney, 33, is weighing up moving to an MLS franchise for the 2015 season.
Former Portsmouth player Ward, 25, is rumoured to be on Liverpool’s radar, with his versatility attractive to Reds boss Brendan Rodgers. Capable of operating in either full back berth or a holding midfield role, Ward could be cashed in by the Eagles in either the winter window or the summer, especially if they lose Premier League status. Palace are odds-on at 8/15 to stay up, though.