Senegal left back Souare to snub AFCON and leave Lille for Palace?
Crystal Palace, 7/4 chances for Premier League relegation with Coral, are chasing the signature of Senegal international and Lille left back Pape Souare, according to the tabloids.
The 24-year-old is rated at just £3m by the Ligue 1 outfit and the Eagles have lodged a bid at £2.5m as they seek a winter window bargain to strengthen their defence.
Premier League players past and present, such as Yohan Cabaye, Mathieu Debuchy, Eden Hazard and Kevin Mirallas, have all been on Lille’s books, so it is season a perfect platform from which to hop across the Channel.
Reports also suggest that Souare may be prepared to miss the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Equatorial Guinea in order to make a mooted move to Palace possible.
This may be a blow to Senegal, who are nicknamed the Lions of Teranga, ahead of the continental competition, but Souare only played a full 90 minutes on three occasions in qualifying.
Senegal are well-stocked for left backs, as national coach Alain Giresse has also selected Atalanta’s Boukary Drame and Rennes counterpart Cheikh M’Bengue.
Playing Premier League football may actually improve Souare’s international prospects in the long term. There are a number of current English top-flight stars set to go the AFCON finals, though.
West Ham United pair Cheikhou Kouyate and Diafra Sakho join Upton Park old boy Mohamed Diame (now with Hull City), Newcastle United number nine Papiss Cisse, Stoke City forward Mame Biram Diouf and Southampton winger Sadio Mane as regular squad members. For more on Senegal, check out our team profile.
Souare has helped Lille to keep six cleans sheets across all competitions this term, and could be the natural left back option Palace are looking. Eagles boss Neil Warnock is also understood to have a number of other targets, including Swansea City’s Neil Taylor, if a deal cannot be done.
Palace are odds-on at 2/5 to stay up again in the Premier League.