We only need to look back to the January transfer window to be reminded of stories tying Crystal Palace with a permanent move for Anderlecht midfielder Leander Dendoncker and now, with the transfer deadline looming once more, it seems his name has re-entered the frame.
For much of the previous transfer window, it was West Ham who were being heavily linked with the Belgian, only for Palace to crash the party at the last minute and nearly steal him from under the Hammers’ noses but as time ran short, the midfielder’s employers decided to pull the plug on negotiations and reassure him that the market would be reassessed in the summer.
Now in the midst of that transfer window, Belgian newspaper Het Belang van Limburg report that both Palace and Wolves hold an interest in Dendoncker, with the Eagles believed to be in contact with Leander’s representatives. Quite how that works when no official offer has been accepted is up for debate but the same article states that a bid of €15m would almost certainly be enough to force Anderlecht into sanctioning a sale.
You could ask why we would be in for another central midfielder following on from the deals for Max Meyer and Cheikhou Kouyaté but with Dendoncker also known to be capable of filling in at centre-back when called upon, it’s a deal that could end up killing two birds with one stone in the long-term.
Still just 23, Leander was part of the Belgium squad that made it all the way to the World Cup semi-final over the summer, starting and playing the full 90 minutes of their 1-0 victory over England in the group stages and now, four years after turning professional, he may well be ready to make the step up in class on a domestic level.
If nothing happens between now and Thursday’s deadline, you can be relatively sure that his name will crop up again in January; stories linking him with a move to the Premier League are becoming as frequent as those suggesting Wilfried Zaha is on the verge of a move away from SE25.