On the face of things, it’s a rumour which immediately feels far-fetched but a transfer special published in France Football this week suggests that Crystal Palace are potential suitors for Rennes star Ismaïla Sarr.
The 20-year-old joined the club from Metz for a fee worth between €17-20 million in the summer of 2017, reportedly turning down interest from FC Barcelona to continue his development in France; a decision that drew admiration and bafflement in equal measure from the European sporting press.
Since making the switch, the youngster’s stock has continued to rise, with his performances on the international stage seeing him inevitably compared to countryman Sadio Mane. Whilst his goal return doesn’t force you to raise an eyebrow, his overall game is full of potential, with Arsenal known to be interested in securing his services in the long-term.
With the Gunners taking centre-stage in the France Football piece, Palace are thrown in as another potential destination, potentially as a stepping stone to greater things a year or two down the line. Unfortunately, given the sizeable sum Rennes laid out last summer, we would have to stump up close to €30 million to even enter negotiations over a deal and as we all know, there simply isn’t that amount of cash available for transfers as things stand.
Is it possible that France Football have simply looked at our lack of goals and concluded that we could do with a player of Sarr’s quality without delving too far into our financial state? Or do they see the wide man as the ideal replacement for Wilfried Zaha, who is continuously linked with a move away from Selhurst Park, year on year?
Whichever angle you approach this story from, it seems highly unlikely from my point of view. I’ll gladly be proved wrong but a player so clearly on the path to great things is hardly going to look at Palace’s current predicament and be enthused about the prospect of joining.