Whilst Anderlecht midfielder Leander Dendoncker had seen his name linked heavily with West Ham throughout the January transfer window, it has emerged that Crystal Palace actually made a remarkably sizeable bid for his services in the closing hours of Deadline Day.
At just 22, the full Belgium international has been a name on the lips of clubs across Europe for much of the last few months but in the mad scramble for midfield cover on the 31st, it seems as though the Eagles made what was a genuinely decent offer to Anderlecht.
According to the report which I have hyperlinked at the top of the page, Steve Parish and co. made a bid of £15 million with a further £5 million on the table in the form of performance related bonuses, only for their advances to be knocked back by Dendoncker’s current employers in a move which is thought to have mildly rattled the midfielder’s cage.
Having been on Anderlecht’s books since 2009 and totted up over 150 appearances for them, Dendoncker is said to have asked for assurances over the club’s willingness to sell him in the upcoming summer window, whether it be to Crystal Palace or one of the numerous other organisations who are known to be keeping a close eye on his development.
The speculation surrounding Palace’s apparent bid comes amidst reports that Anderlecht’s general manager, Herman Van Holsbeeck refused to consider a January sale as he “didn’t want to weaken the team and didn’t want to get lynched by the fans” which seems like a fair enough reason not to take the money and run on the face of things.
Obviously, as things stand, the club’s Premier League status is still far from secure but I see no reason why we wouldn’t look to test the water once again over the summer if we do indeed manage to avoid the drop into the second tier in May.
It wasn’t a transfer I had expectations of us making at any stage of the January transfer window but it’s good to know that we may well have an interest in doing a deal when the next round of bidding begins. Let’s just hope we’re a tad more prompt next time.