The chase for Robbie Brady’s signature looks to have been won, with the Guardian reporting that Crystal Palace have had a bid accepted for the Irish international.
As many as eight Premier League and Championship clubs were in the hunt for the winger at one point, with Leicester, Burnley and Newcastle among the standout interested parties.
However, the report claims that Palace’s initial £9m offer, potentially rising to £12m, has been accepted by Norwich City with the 24-year-old now free to agree terms.
Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce is a long-standing admirer of Brady and although they already had a bid knocked back by Norwich earlier in the transfer window, they always maintained interest in the player.
Strengthening the left side of the team has been one of Allardyce’s main priorities since replacing Alan Pardew in December, with Leicester’s Jeffrey Schlupp already joining in a £13m deal.
Despite the agreement with Norwich, however, the transfer is not 100% likely to go through yet. The Eagles are already in talks to sign Sunderland left-back Patrick van Aanholt for a similar amount of money, and Dominic Fifield, the man who broke the Brady news, is not confident that they will sign both:
Can’t see #cpfc signing both Van Aanholt and Brady, particularly with Schlupp already in, but appear to be weighing up which one to secure
— Dominic Fifield (@domfifield) January 25, 2017
That in itself could be an indication that Allardyce would intend to play Brady at left-back, or alternate with Schlupp, rather than his usual wing position.
Should Palace ultimately decide to go with van Aanholt, Bardy’s other suitors will at least now know what it will take to sign him. Whether earlier favourites Burnley come back into the picture remains to be seen, as they may yet decide that the £10m signing of Robert Snodgrass from Hull is enough business for them in this window.
In any event, Allardyce’s left-sided options will receive an unexpected boost in the coming days as Wilfried Zaha is to return from the African Cup of Nations early, his Ivory Coast side having been surprisingly knocked out in the group stages with a 1-0 defeat to Morocco on Tuesday night.