According to reports surfacing from the Liverpool Echo, Crystal Palace look set to join Brighton and Hove Albion in a last-gasp effort to sign Everton forward Oumar Niasse.
The Sun reported two days ago that, after seeing a move for FC Zurich striker Raphael Dwamena fall flat after failing his medical, Brighton boss Chris Hughton has now targeted the former Hull City man.
However, they may face tough competition from their Premier League rivals as Frank de Boer sets his sights on bolstering his attacking options before the transfer deadline comes on Thursday evening.
What could Niasse add to either side?
For a man that almost single-handedly kept Hull City in with a chance of survival last season it is strange that Everton boss Ronald Koeman doesn’t even consider giving him a look-in in the squad.
Since arriving at Goodison Park from Russian outfit Lokomotiv Moscow in a hefty £13.5 million deal he simply hasn’t clicked with the Dutchman, always below the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Arouna Kone and Enner Valencia in the pecking order. As such, he has only made five appearances in two years.
Koeman’s desire to let him leave seems even more bizarre considering that Everton themselves are currently in the midst of a so-called striking ‘crisis’, but their loss could easily be another team’s gain.
During his loan stint at Hull City last season, arriving just after Christmas, the 27-year-old really began to run up a head of steam after a slow start and became the driving force in survival battle, scoring four goals.
Although it ultimately didn’t help them avoid the drop, his physical presence on show in the final third of the pitch and his ability to drag a team forward with his pace certainly caught the eye, and as his confidence as part of the Hull team grew you could see that his all-round game improved too.
Despite being more than capable of playing on the wing or in a number ten role, he’s best utilised playing as a pure out-and-out striker, playing off the shoulder of the last man and making runs in-behind.
This is where he could be a lethal asset for a side such as Brighton, replacing the experienced head of Glenn Murray with a more dynamic and daring approach to the attack, and with Chris Hughton’s team yet to break their Premier League duck in front of goal they’re evidently in need of some attacking flair.
On the other hand, Frank de Boer’s Crystal Palace have had an equally poor showing so far this campaign, also failing to score in three games and – on the whole – failing to create much when in the final third.
The only issue with a move to Selhurst Park would be how De Boer fits Niasse into a system that includes a seemingly un-droppable Christian Benteke; with the Belgian striker not likely to be moved from his number nine role anytime soon it isn’t clear where the Senegalese man would fit into a starting eleven.
Nonetheless, the issue with both sides could come on the financial sides of things, with Everton only open to permanent offers – with no consideration of a loan move – that can match their reported £10 million valuation.