Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer is turning his attentions to want-away Manchester City defender Eliaquim Mangala after being priced out of a move for Liverpool man Mamadou Sakho.
The Sun understand that the Eagles are in the process of preparing a £23million deadline day offer for the French international, with Liverpool still refusing to negotiate on their £30million valuation.
Palace had an offer of £25million turned down for Sakho earlier this week – as reported by Sky Sports – but there is now a growing feeling that they will secure Mangala by the 11pm deadline.
What can Mangala bring to Selhurst Park?
Once upon a time – or more realistically back in 2014 – Eliaquim Mangala was touted as one of the best up-and-coming talents in Europe following a mightily impressive three-year spell spent at Porto.
This earnt him a well-deserved move to Manchester but, unfortunately for him, Manuel Pellegrini failed to get the best out of him and he found it a constant struggle to adapt and impress in England.
It wasn’t for the lack of opportunity either, making 64 appearances across his two seasons playing at the Etihad, but he always came across capable of making a mistake at any moment and it didn’t come as much of a surprise when he was cast from Pep Guardiola’s squad and sent off to Valencia.
Yet despite his prior failings in England he could actually be the perfect player that Crystal Palace require right now, able to come into the side and consolidate a seemingly undisciplined back-line.
It was clear to see how much of an impact the arrival of Sakho had at the end of last season and, considering Mangala has a comparable playing style, it could be a shrewd buy from Frank de Boer.
The 27-year-old likes to dominate both in the air and in the tackle, letting the attackers know that they’re going to be in for a tough 90 minutes, and he likes to be the commanding figure at the back.
His lack of focus at times and the aforementioned tendency to make mistakes will be a worry but, after Palace’s poor start to the season, he could be worth taking a gamble on so early in the season.