The internet is abuzz with news of a potential move from Palace for Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda this morning; sparked initially by a report in respected French paper L’Equipe.
There are plenty of Palace fans already talking down our chances of pulling off a deal to bring Mandanda to Selhurst Park, given the keeper’s solid reputation within the game, but it’s almost impossible to estimate how much of an impact the views of the Marseille man’s French teammate Yohan Cabaye could have on his final decision.
Had you asked anyone from outside the corridors of power at Selhurst Park what our chances of landing the aforementioned Cabaye at the start of last summer, you would have been given extremely long odds, but thanks to his previous relationship with boss Alan Pardew, the process ended up being a remarkably smooth one for all concerned. Whilst that may not prove to be the case this time, it’s certainly food for thought.
After making more than 400 appearances in Marseille colours over the last eight years, it’s fair to suggest that Mandanda wouldn’t be looking to make the move to the Premier League if it simply meant taking up a place on the bench behind a highly rated number one; after all, he’s already being forced to do that in the French squad as the understudy to Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris.
At 31, he would almost certainly be keen to make the jump to England with the guarantee that he will be the undisputed number one at the beginning of the 2016/17 campaign, a promise we at Palace can make without a single second of hesitation on the part of the coaches or the supporters, which may just end up making a major difference when Mandanda is forced to make his final decision.
Should anyone reading this be able to translate the full L’Equipe article attached above into English, I and I’m sure thousands of others would be extremely grateful.
After weeks without a single hint of transfer gossip, we finally have a story to sink our teeth into this morning, and it’s a big one.