Crystal Palace are believed to be keeping tabs on Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia, who is growing increasingly frustrated with life at the San Siro.
Still only 27, Ranocchia is thought to be far from happy with the lack of game time he has been afforded since Roberto Mancini’s return to Inter and is subsequently open to a move away during the January transfer window.
As someone who had previously been a first-team regular, Ranocchia’s sense of discontent is understandable, given the fact that he has been given just 27 minutes of competitive football so far this season for the table topping outfit. Of course, his manager will argue that a winning team should not be changed, particularly from a defensive perspective, but as we well know, footballers are seldom happy to be sat on the substitute’s bench regularly at any level.
It may come as a surprise to some to see Ranocchia so keen to pursue a move away from Italy, having only signed a new deal with the club in July, but it seems as though the deterioration of his relationship with Mancini has been incredibly swift, prompting Inter legend Javier Zanetti to speak openly about the sympathy he feels for the former Genoa defender’s current troubles.
After seeing Ronocchia replace him as Inter captain for the 2014/15 season, Zanetti was clearly convinced that the defender would retain a regular place in the starting XI for many years to come, with the recent developments leaving him a little baffled.
“Ranocchia? I feel sorry for Andrea, he’s a good lad and I’m sure he’ll be back.
“He has to prove his worth, he should feel like a captain. Everyone is a captain, and the group is the most important thing.”
Whilst we would undoubtedly face stiff competition for his signature, Alan Pardew could readily offer Ranocchia an immediate place in the centre of our defence, should he indeed entertain our advances. Although Damien Delaney and Brede Hangeland have both proved to be more than capable partners for Scott Dann in recent months, the Italian would represent an obvious step up in class, affording us a far greater sense of defensive depth in an instant.
We’ll keep a close eye on this one.