Crystal Palace are just one of several clubs to have joined the race to sign FC Porto winger Pepe during the upcoming transfer window, according to a Portuguese source.
The Lowdown: Pepe’s caught the eye
The 25-year-old first joined the Dragons on a five-year deal from Gremio last summer and has become more of a main feature in Sergio Conceicao’s starting XI since the departure of Luis Diaz back in January.
On the back of committing his future to the club long-term, his current contract with Porto isn’t set to expire until 2026, but nonetheless, his form has been good enough to attract suitors from England’s top flight.
He has already been linked with a move away from the Portuguese giants to Arsenal, but the Gunners aren’t the only ones taking a look…
Who has been Palace's best permanent signing?
The Latest: Palace in contention
In a new report published by Portuguese outlet A Bola (via Sport Witness), it’s claimed that Patrick Vieira has already made contact and ‘collected information’ about Pepe, with the Selhurst Park outfit believed to be one of the serious contenders in the battle for his signature.
The source further states that Palace are set to face ‘tough’ competition for their man though, with Premier League rivals Arsenal also closely monitoring the forward.
It’s believed that the player is protected by a release clause of €70m (£59.8m), but Porto would be willing to allow him to leave for €60m (£51.3m), despite the English clubs named only valuing him at €50m (£42.7m).
The Verdict: Perfect competition
Pepe has enjoyed a decent run of form during his first full season at Estadio do Dragao, scoring six goals and registering five assists across all competitions, as per Transfermarkt.
Palace do already have strong options with Wilfried Zaha and Michael Olise currently occupying both flanks, but the Brazilian is an exciting young talent and could improve the quality and competition for places in the first team.
With Vieira possibly looking for a suitable attacking upgrade on Jordan Ayew – who could be set to depart the Eagles in the coming months – Pepe could be the ideal candidate to make the switch to the top-flight and help the English giants aim for a top-half finish next season.
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