Premier League outfit Crystal Palace ‘will sign’ Cheick Doucoure from Lens but personal terms have not yet been agreed with the Ligue 1 ace, as reported by The Sun.
Perhaps Patrick Vieira sees a bit of himself in the Malian maestro.
Because, like the former Arsenal captain, Doucoure is an all-action midfield general with plenty of strings to his bow. A Swiss-army knife of a footballer capable of breaking up opposition attacks at one end before slamming a long-range piledriver into top corner the next.
“Cheick knows how to do everything on the pitch,” says Doucoure’s Lens team-mate and captain Seko Fofana. “He works in the shadows and, for me, he is very important.
“He is incredibly complete. He’s one of the best players I’ve played with. He knows how to shoot from a distance, how to pass, break the lines, dribble, defend.”
Crystal Palace to sign Cheick Doucoure
Doucoure’s arrival at Selhurst Park would certainly ease Palace’s reliance on the 30-something duo James McArthur and Cheikhou Kouyate. Both players are out of contract this summer, while Luka Milovojevic is not getting any younger either.
FootMercato claimed last week that Vieira is ‘crazy’ about the £15 million-rated Doucoure. Crystal Palace opened talks with the 22-year-old powerhouse in April, and The Sun believes that a summer move to South London is most certainly on the cards.
“The Londoners will sign £15 million Lens midfielder Cheick Doucoure,” the report says, while pointing out that Palace are still yet to agree personal terms.
Doucoure was linked with Arsenal some 12 months ago, while Aston Villa failed with a £10 million bid. The five-cap Mali international also missed out on a move to Tottenham Hotspur, much to his frustration.
“(Last) summer, Tottenham seriously approached the club and his agent,” says Zakaria Diallo, who played with Doucoure last season.
“Finally, Lens closed the door. They don’t need the money and know they will sell him for even more in the future. ‘Douc’ was disappointed. But he’s not at all the type to (force an exit).”
Should Palace’s pursuit of Doucoure fail, The Eagles will turn their attention to Strasbourg’s Jean-Ricner Bellegarde.
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