Yesterday evening, Duncan Castles reported that a fee had finally been agreed between Manchester United and Crystal Palace for the sale of Aaron Wan-Bissaka but shortly after, the claim was refuted by sources close to the Eagles’ boardroom.
The last two to three weeks have seen mountains of speculation over the Palace academy graduate’s immediate future but with Steve Parish standing firm over his £60 million valuation and Ed Woodward supposedly offering far less than that as an up-front fee, everyone has been forced into transfer limbo, unsure of who will blink first.
Whilst the latest information suggests that a deal is yet to be fully agreed between the two clubs, there is an overriding sense that a mutually acceptable figure will eventually be struck, bringing to an end a Palace playing career which still isn’t 50 games old. Wan-Bissaka signed a long-term deal at Selhurst Park in 2018 and at the time, I’m sure both he and the club were expecting him to see it out but the rise to prominence he’s enjoyed, coupled with the money now being put on the table by United make it a decision that makes business sense, even though it stings from a sentimental perspective.
There is no specific time-frame for a sale being finalised but it’s clear that without the cash injection that Wan-Bissaka’s departure would offer, Palace will really struggle to strengthen the squad over the summer. It would be foolish to assume we’ll get an equally talented replacement, players of that ilk simply don’t exist but if we are to receive £50-60 million for Aaron, Hodgson could look to plug the gap left at right-back whilst also bolstering two or three other positions soon after.
It looks like a matter of “when” not “if” at this stage.