Capital calling Cork while Arsenal circle Hoops star
Crystal Palace, odds-on at 1/3 to stay in the Premier League, could be set to seal a deal to sign Jack Cork from Southampton, after it was reported that the Saints had accepted a £3m bid from the south London side. The Eagles have been relatively liberal in the transfer market this summer, snapping up striker Fraizer Campbell from Cardiff City, who could turn out to be a bargain at £900k.
Both goalkeeper Chris Kettings from Blackpool and experienced centre half Brede Hangeland have joined on free transfers, so a £3m move for Cork is a significant outlay.Tony Pulis is also closing on a £1.5m deal for Liverpool defender Martin Kelly.
The central midfielder will add extra edge to the Eagles midfield, being tenacious in the tackle, and productive with the ball at his feet. Southampton have raised around £95m in sales this summer, with Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, Dejan Lovren, Calum Chambers and Billy Sharp all leaving. Two that have been told they are definitely staying however, are midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin and attacker Jay Rodriguez.
Cork, though, appears surplus to requirements with talks regarding a new deal failing to produce a definite conclusion. His current contract expires next summer, and the Saints appear sold on a £3m fee, rather than lose him for nothing at the end of the season.
Across the capital, Palace’s first Premier League opponents Arsenal could move for QPR defensive midfielder Stephane Mbia on a free transfer. The 28-year-old was released by the Hoops at the end of last season after a campaign on loan at Sevilla, helping them win the Europa League. Newcastle and West Ham are also said to be interested in his services, however Mbia is reportedly asking for £60k per week in wages.
Arsene Wenger is rumoured to be still in the market for a holding player, despite him saying new signing Chambers could be deployed in that position. The Gunners are odds-on at 2/7 to beat the Eagles in their opening Premier League match.