Crystal Palace are set to sign defender Marc Guehi on a permanent deal from London rivals Chelsea.
The 21-year-old, who is believed to be joining the Eagles for around £20million, is set to become Palace’s third summer signing. Reading midfielder Michael Olise and Sunderland keeper Remi Matthews have already signed up to be part of new manager Patrick Vieira’s rebuild.
Guehi joined Chelsea at the age of eight, rising through the ranks at an impressive rate. He was a part of their famous treble-winning U18 campaign in 2016-17 and earned recognition as a goalscoring defender.
He has played for his country from U16 to U21 level and was a prominent figure in England U17’s World Cup victory, netting in the 5-2 final win over Spain.
He signed his first professional contract in 2017 and made his first-team debut for the Blues in their 7-1 EFL Cup win over Grimsby Town in 2019.
WHAT WILL GUEHI BRING?
With Mamadou Sakho and Scott Dann having left the club this summer, and Gary Cahill yet to agree a new contract, Vieira had only one recognised first-team centre-back in the shape of James Tomkins.
At points during last season, Palace would take to the pitch with two centre-backs who had a combined age of 69, so Guehi’s arrival immediately adds a touch of youthful energy to the side.
Guehi shone during his season-and-a-half on loan with Swansea. He played a crucial role in Steve Cooper’s side as the Swans reached back-to-back finishes in the play-off spots.
The young defender was hailed for his ability to bring the ball out from the back and pick out a pinpoint pass to start the attacking phase of play. While Guehi was only in the fledgling part of his career at the Liberty Stadium, he also demonstrated an experienced eye for a tackle and an impressive reading of the game.
WHAT OTHER BUSINESS IS THE CLUB EXPECTED TO DO?
Joel Ward signed a new deal with Palace at the beginning of the week, and according to reports, Gary Cahill has an offer on the table. However, the 35-year-old has not yet decided where his future lies.
Nathaniel Clyne has also spent pre-season training with the club.
Patrick van Aanholt, Wayne Hennessey, Stephen Henderson, Mamadou Sakho and Scott Dann have all left, and Andros Townsend’s comments on a Twitter Q&A with ITV sounded as though he will also be leaving the club this summer.
The South Londoners have an interest in Wandsworth-born RB Leipzig winger Ademola Lookman and Arsenal forward Eddie Nketiah.
There is also the hope of raiding Chelsea once again. This time, in an attempt to secure Conor Gallagher, who was close to joining Palace last season before the club decided to re-sign Michy Batshuayi, on a season-long loan.
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