Journalist: Palace now lead race to sign £12m man Leeds want to replace Kalvin Phillips
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Journalist: Palace now lead race to sign £12m man Leeds want to replace Kalvin Phillips

According to Alex Crook of talkSPORT, Crystal Palace now lead the race to sign Leeds target Flynn Downes from Swansea.

What’s the story?

Well, it was said that Jesse Marsch was keen to sign the 23-year-old as a replacement for Kalvin Phillips, who is set to join Manchester City in a deal worth £45m.

However, Leeds now look set to lose out to Patrick Vieira, who is in the driving seat to sign the Englishman.

Swansea want £12m for their No.4 – a fair price seeing as he is contracted to them until June 2025.

Southampton and Wolves have also enquired about Downes, but if Crook is to be trusted, a move to south London now looks most likely for the Brentwood-born playmaker.

The midfielder’s prospective move to the Premier League comes after he made 39 appearances in all competitions for the Swans last season, scoring one goal while also providing two assists.

Crystal Palace could’ve saved themselves a lot of money on Leeds target

Interestingly, the Eagles actually made a number of bids for Downes while he was at Ipswich, before he sealed a move to Swansea in 2021.

However, Crystal Palace refused to offer more than £2m, with Paul Lambert – manager of the Tractor Boys at the time – claiming that the money was “nowhere near good enough” from the south Londoners.

At the time, the 52-year-old said: “The money (offered by Palace) wasn’t good. The money was nowhere near good enough. The bid itself was absolutely nowhere near.”  

Downes even handed in a transfer request after the bids were rejected, and his “brain was fried” by the transfer saga according to Lambert.

Now, however, the story involving Crystal Palace and Downes looks set to have a happy ending, as he looks ready to join Malcolm Ebiowei and Sam Johnstone in SE25.

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