BY ANDREW MCSTEEN
Crystal Palace striker Alexander Sorloth is set to end his “dream” of playing in the Premier League with multiple news reports of him agreeing to join German Bundesliga outfit Red Bull Leipzig imminently.
The 6’4 Norwegian international striker joined Crystal Palace on transfer deadline day in January 2018 but proved to be a flop for the Eagles, scoring just once in the League Cup, against Swansea in the EFL Cup. In January 2019 he was then loaned out to Belgian club KAA Gent for the rest of that season and then Turkish side Trabzonspor on a two-year loan deal in August last year.
It appears now that both Palace and Trabzonspor have reached an agreement on the player moving to Germany after weeks of contractual negotiations between all parties.
“I don’t know. It’s a complicated transfer situation,” said Palace boss Roy Hodgson about whether the deal has gone through yet. “It’s in the hands of Steve Parish our Chairman and Doug Freedman our Sporting Director; they’re the ones handling it.
“I know of course about the bid and I know Red Bull Leipzig are very keen on signing him but how far the transfer is along the line and what that means for the club you’d have to ask Doug or Steve for information.”
With large transfer budgets out of the question for Hodgson, there is speculation that removing Sorloth from the wage bill and recouping the reported £9 million transfer fee Palace paid initially to FC Midtjylland for the player could open up a move for the Brentford forward Said Benrahma, who is heavily linked with the SE25 outfit and valued at £25 million by the West London club.
“At the moment that is nothing we have discussed at great length,” said Hodgson when asked about any move for Benrahma and possible money from the Sorloth sale being used in the deal.
“The interest that we would have would be dependent upon the price because it is not the priority area. We still really are interested in improving our area up front and getting another front player into the club so that’s our top priority.
“It would be nice to get another wide midfield player into the club too because it will make us much stronger, but how much funds will be available for that player I couldn’t possibly tell you at the moment because it’s all tied up with how much money we’re going to need to find that centre forward.
“We know he’s a good player but not only we know, lots of other people know he’s a good player because he’s shown it the past two seasons with Brentford,” added Hodgson about the Algerian international.
“We’ll see what happens. He’s a player whose name has been mentioned and a player that we do know. There’s going to have to be a lot happening before a concrete move would be possible.”
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