Crystal Palace tracking QPR’s Charlie Austin this summer
Crystal Palace, 4/1 with Coral for a top 10 finish, are tracking QPR striker Charlie Austin, who has remarkably struck 15 goals for the Premier League strugglers so far this season.
With the south London club set to have money to spend, regardless of whether any rumoured takeover is completed, Austin has been identified as a top target by boss Alan Pardew, as he looks to strengthen his squad for next term. The fee is believed to be in the region of £8m.
The Eagles have been impressive since Pardew took over, and their former player has installed a brand of exciting, attacking football at Selhurst Park, with the likes of Yannick Bolasie, Wilfried Zaha, Dwight Gayle and Fraizer Campbell all benefiting.
On-loan forward Yaya Sanogo has also impressed, though it remains to be seen whether he is kept on permanently, while a decision could also be made over former Gunners striker Marouane Chamakh, who helped them out of a tight spot last campaign. They also have Shola Ameobi, who signed on a free transfer in January to add some experience to the squad.
It is unlikely that any more than one striker will be brought in, considering the options that Palace already have, and should Austin sign, attentions could be turned to the midfield engine room, with Australian Mile Jedinak approaching 31 years of age, and also to central defence. A long term replacement for Brede Hangeland, 33 is likely, though finding someone of his quality for the right price will take some considerable scouting.
Should chairman Steve Parish succeed in completing the sale of a percentage of his stake to American billionaire Josh Harris, the club will no doubt have a large chunk to spend in the summer, though Parish admitted he is in no rush to sell, and any transaction will be on his terms.
“It’s more of me finding people who buy into my vision of the club. People haven’t called me up and said they’d like to do this with the club,” he said.
“There are people around who want to have conversations and I speak to them and share with them my vision of the club and see if it fits.
“Nobody will get involved with Crystal Palace on their terms. Nobody is going to take this football club over and ruin the five years of work we’ve put in. It’s not going to happen.
“So people can write what they want and can assume what they want but the football club will continually be run along the lines it’s run now, and that’s important,” Parish continued.
“We’re in a fortunate position that we’re a pretty much debt-free, profitable, Premier League football club who are currently sitting in 11th position.
“So I’m in no pressure to do anything and I never was under pressure to anything, even if we were in the relegation zone.”