Roma’s French midfielder Maxime Gonalons has formally turned down the chance to join Crystal Palace according to reports in Italy, after the Serie A club accepted a bid for him from the Eagles a week or so ago.
Thanks to the departures of both Yohan Cabaye and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Palace were known to be scouring the market for replacements in the centre of midfield and formally made a push for Gonalons when it became clear that Roma themselves were open to letting the former Lyon man move on.
Having struggled to adapt during his first season in Italy, it was clear that his club were keen to shuffle the pack, lining up World Cup winner Steven Nzonzi as his direct replacement from Sevilla but after rather a large amount of soul-searching, it looks as though Gonalons has decided to stay put in Rome, preferring to fight for a first-team place rather than embarking upon a new adventure in south east London.
To Palace’s credit, they moved on quickly from the disappointment of Gonalons’ rejection, bringing in Cheikhou Kouyaté from West Ham and Max Meyer on a free transfer following the German’s decision to make a break from boyhood club Schalke, setting us up well in the middle of the park for the season that lies ahead.
There was no doubt that Palace were interested in securing a deal for the Frenchman a week or two ago but things move incredibly quickly in football, particularly so during the latter stages of a transfer window. Whilst the former Lyon captain could have gone on to be a big hit at Selhurst Park, I’d suggest that the Eagles have done sterling business by bringing in both Kouyaté and Meyer, one of whom is a proven Premier League performer and the other a potential star looking for the right platform upon which to shine.
Hopefully both Gonalons and Crystal Palace are set to scale new heights during the upcoming campaign.