The lowdown: Eagles interested
Despite his tender years, Doucoure has already amassed 131 senior appearances for the Ligue 1 club and become an established member of the Mali national team in the process.
Extensively linked with a move for the 22-year-old for some time now, a recent report from the Daily Mail claimed that Palace are going to win the race for the youngster ahead of Aston Villa.
Now it appears as though the move has taken another step closer…
The latest: Personal terms agreed
However, the South East London club are still said to be ‘far from being close’ to finding an amicable solution with Lens regarding a transfer fee.
The report states that the French top-flight side want ‘at least’ €25million (£21million) for the talented youngster lauded as a ‘special talent’ by European football expert Antonio Mango.
The verdict: Make it happen
Albeit the mooted price tag would see Palace shell out their third all-time record expenditure, for a player of Doucoure’s age, profile and already impressive experience, this would be a move with little to no risk attached.
Sharing close stylistic traits with star names such as Chelsea ace Jorginho, Inter Milan general Marcelo Brozovic and Arsenal stalwart Granit Xhaka (Fbref), the powerful midfielder – a role the Eagles’ boss knows all too well – would be an upgrade on the current options at Patrick Vieira’s disposal, particularly in the wake of the strong interest in Luka Milivojevic.
Last season, the eight-cap Mali man scored once and provided four assists in 37 appearances across all competitions for Lens and has previously doubled up as a central defender, a role often thrust upon Palace favourite Cheikhou Kouyate – who at present remains out of contract at the end of the month.
Boasting an outstanding 7.07 Sofascore rating comprising of 2.2 tackles, 2.0 interceptions and 1.2 key passes on average per game in the league last season, snapping up a player of Doucoure’s all-around ability would be a superb piece of business from Vieira.
In other news: ‘Very close’ – Journalist makes Crystal Palace transfer claim, read more here
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