Newcastle manager Steve Bruce has dismissed the idea that Republic of Ireland defender Ciaran Clark will be leaving the club this summer.
It had been reported by The Sun that Palace were interested in the 29-year-old, as Roy Hodgson looks to bolster his defensive options before Palace head into the new season.
The report claims that Palace were weighing up either a £5m bid for the Irishman or were going to offer a season-long deal.
However, after Newcastle’s 3-1 win over Hibernian in Edinburgh last night, Steve Bruce rubbished the rumours while speaking to the press about the future of the centre-half.
He said, per the Chronicle: “I have had a chat and that is not going to happen.”
With Palace having four accomplished Premier League centre-halves in Mamadou Sakho, James Tomkins, Scott Dann and Martin Kelly, it is a bit surprising that they are targeting Ciaran Clark.
Even though all four have had injuries since joining the club, the Eagles still have Jairo Riedewald as an option as a fifth choice.
From Ciaran Clark’s perspective, as a player who has struggled for first-team football himself – behind in the pecking order to Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schar, Paul Dummett, Federico Fernandez and Florian Lejeune – it seems strange that he would be up for a move to be a back-up choice again.
Out of the centre-backs last year, Tomkins played the most with 29, Sakho played 27, Kelly 13 and Dann 10. If Clark was to join this Palace side, it would be hard to suggest where he would slip in within the pecking order, considering the fact Hodgson’s current options seemed to impress him last season.
Hodgson told the Palace website on April 26: “I must say in particular that the two centre-backs, Scott Dann and Martin Kelly, have stepped up to the plate quite incredibly in very difficult games; we have always known the confidence and the ability to play in the Premier League but kept out by two guys playing very, very well and they’ve had to wait for their chance but it’s good they’ve got that chance and good they’ve shown their ability and they’ve done it in games where we could’ve been expected to lose, Newcastle away and Arsenal away.”
You can see what’s in this deal for Palace if they needed a defender with Premier League experience and maybe even Newcastle in terms of a potential transfer fee, but it’s hard to fathom why Ciaran Clark would go to the Eagles.
However, according to Bruce Newcastle aren’t willing to do business, so it does appear as if the player will be staying on Tyneside anyway.
What could Palace offer Clark that Newcastle couldn’t? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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