With the summer transfer window fast approaching, Crystal Palace have started the work on identifying targets and making contact with their parent clubs. A striker to partner Christian Benteke has been on the mind of manager Sam Allardyce since long and the Eagles had a long-term target in their mind to target. Khouma Babacar of Fiorentina has been a long-term target for Palace with the London side scouting the striker since last year and also making a £8.5 million bid for him in January.
But the fan favourite at Fiorentina, Babacar recently revealed his wish to stay with the Italian giants in the future. He said, “My first aim is to stay in Florence and win a trophy wearing this shirt.”
With the Italian out of the question now, Palace have to look elsewhere to sign a striker in the summer. Here are the three alternatives for Babacar that Crystal Palace can target.
#1 Jay Rodriguez
A proven Premier League striker will work wonders for the Eagles as Rodriguez is available after falling down the pecking order at Southampton. The Englishman is a talented forward who can run behind defences and was playing brilliantly before suffering a season-ending injury last year.
Manolo Gabbiadini’s arrival and the presence of Charlie Austin and Shane Long means chances will be hard to come by for him which is why Rodriguez is looking to leave the Saints in the summer. Crystal Palace will get a good utility player if they sign him.
#2 Jermain Defoe
The Sunderland hitman has had another season to remember after scoring 15+ goals this campaign and also getting selected in the Three Lions squad recently. With the Black Cats getting relegated, Defoe will be looking to change loyalties once again and Big Sam, one of his former managers, can take full use of that.
Allardyce and Defoe were on good terms when the manager left Sunderland and Crystal Palace will also get the 34-year old on cheap. With one eye on getting selected for the 2018 World Cup, Defoe will have to shift to a Premier League side which the Eagles can offer.
#3 Daniel Sturridge
This sounds like a far-fetched attempt for Palace but if the owners are ready to spend close to £20 million on a striker, they can get one of the most talented strikers in the Premier League.
Sturridge is badly out of favour at Liverpool currently and is looking to leave the Reds in the summer. Palace can offer a way out and provide an opportunity for the striker to be the main man for them. Liverpool discards have saved Palace this season and Sturridge might be another Liverpool player who can take Palace to the next level.