Sporting striker Islam Slimani has been the subject of mountainous speculation on these shores over the last few weeks, with a Portugese paper suggesting that Crystal Palace remain the club most keen on securing the front man’s signature.
This report offers all the details of the Eagles discussions with Sporting over the last few weeks, after Slimani was identified as the club’s top attacking target during the January transfer window. Clearly, they’re playing hardball.
To his credit, Slimani has been in scintillating form for Sporting this season, netting an extremely impressive 21 goals in just 25 outings for the Portugese giants, including a brace in their most recent fixture at Pacos Ferreira. In fact, since the start of 2016, the Algerian has bagged eight goals in just five games, a run that has only seen his current employers become more determined than ever before to hold onto him.
Alan Pardew has made no secret of his admiration for Slimani, admitting when Palace took on Sporting in pre-season, that the striker was someone he would love to have in the Palace squad, but with a title race currently in full swing in Lisbon, we would have to do something miraculous to prize him away from them in the coming days.
There are a number of varying factors surrounding any potential deal for the prolific attacker, all of which are covered fully in the article attached above, but the main sticking point from Sporting’s perspective comes in the shape of the much discussed buy-out clause that exists in Slimami’s current contract; a proper spanner in the works for those behind the scenes.
As is so often the case, things are never completely straightforward when it comes to the world of transfers. It’s all part of the fun… Apparently.