According to Italian news outlet Il Tempo, Crystal Palace are closing in on a move for Fiorentina striker Khouma Babacar this summer.
Still only 23, the Senegalese striker has been linked with a move to Selhurst Park in the past, but has never seen our interest in taking him away from Serie A rise beyond an initial enquiry.
The previous campaign saw him bag seven goals in 24 appearances for Fiorentina, the last of which arrived when he came off the bench in the 87th minute against Inter Milan, only to score a stoppage time winner for the hosts way back in February.
Having finished 5th and subsequently qualified for the Europa League again next season, some would suggest that Babacar’s employers would be unwilling to part with him heading into the summer, but after failing to reach double figures in goals during either of his previous two seasons, a hefty bid from us is far more likely to encourage a sale than it was 12 months ago.
The 6’3 striker has been in the Italian football system since the age of just 14, having left his home town of Thies in Senegal for a chance to impress with Delfino Pescara. It was there that he was tracked by a number of Serie A clubs, including Genoa, before being officially signed by Fiorentina in 2009. In the years since, he has enjoyed loan spells with the likes of Racing Santander, Padova and Modena, but has never quite managed to embed himself as the go to man for the club who pay his wages.
Any deal we do manage to strike for him is unlikely to be cheap given his age and potential, but if the report attached above is anything to go by, our interest is now far more concrete than it was when we last toyed with the idea of bringing him to England during the January transfer window.
Keep your eyes peeled for any further developments in the coming days.