Yesterday saw rumours begin to circulate over a possible move for Rennes wide-man Ismaila Sarr from Crystal Palace but according to Ed Aarons at The Guardian, a deal is unlikely to happen without a high-profile departure.
The initial suggestion was that Sporting Director Dougie Freedman was simply weighing up a move for the 21-year-old with part of Palace’s summer transfer strategy but now it sounds as though Sarr would only be brought in if Wilfried Zaha were to leave the club before the summer deadline.
Re Ismaïla Sarr: understand Crystal Palace are interested but unlikely to make a move unless Zaha leaves. Senegal forward is also wanted by Watford
— Ed Aarons (@ed_aarons) July 28, 2019
Given the fee we’d no doubt need to stump up to convince Rennes to part with Sarr this late in the window I can’t say I’m too surprised but after the initial excitement of seeing the club linked to such a highly thought of young talent, I’d be lying if I said the news Ed broke wasn’t a little bit deflating to read.
With the sands of time now running short for us to get all of the necessary incoming deals sorted, we as supporters should, in theory at least, be in for an extremely busy week or two. You’d assume the positions of right and left back would be of paramount importance to our recruitment staff, alongside a new striker but in Sarr, we could have a player who could operate on the flanks or at the head of the side if necessary.
People will always raise questions over the pedigree of players being linked to us from the French league but at such a young age, eight goals and six assists across 35 games in Ligue 1 isn’t too shabby a return. More likely is a move for Brentford’s Ollie Watkins, who would no doubt put less of a dent in our budget, whilst knowing more of the English game but does he have the same ceiling as Sarr? It’s a call I wouldn’t like to make with certainty.
These are the decisions Freedman, Parish and Hodgson are tasked with making over the next few days. Hopefully, the calls they eventually take will pay dividends for us in the long run.