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Crystal Palace in talks to sign Naouirou Ahamada from Stuttgart


Crystal Palace are in discussions with Stuttgart over a deal for midfielder Naouirou Ahamada.

With a week remaining of the January transfer window, Palace have yet to complete any business, but are looking to strengthen.

Midfield is a priority area, and the 20-year-old Ahamada has been identified as a possible addition for Patrick Vieira, with the Palace manager impressed with his performances in the Bundesliga this season.

There remains interest in both Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher and Manchester United defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka, but deals for either of the pair would seem unlikely at this stage.

Palace are keen to sign a right-back, centre-midfielder and a striker this window, but there is an acceptance that they will only enter the market to make the right deals. The south London side were one of the clubs to speak with the Villarreal winger Arnaut Danjuma.

Although there is some money available, Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish previously cautioned that the market after the World Cup is “dangerous” and that it is “hard” to do the right deals in mid-season. He said the club would primarily be looking at loan deals rather than permanent transfers.

Ahamada is a box-to-box midfielder and would provide that energy and intensity which has been absent from Palace’s side after Gallagher returned to parent club Chelsea in the summer, with Vieira appearing to rule out a return for the 22-year-old this window, while James McArthur has yet to play this season due to a hip injury.

Vieira has repeatedly called for new players to bolster his squad, with heavy defeats by Fulham (3-0 on Boxing Day) and Tottenham Hotspur (4-0 on January 4) followed by being knocked out of the FA Cup by Southampton and a 1-0 defeat by Chelsea.

“This is a really difficult window to find those players who can improve the squad,” he said.

“We have identified the names of those players that we wanted. Now everything is in the hands of the football club to try and make it happen.

“But at the same time, it’s not an easy one — it’s a really complicated, difficult one. We are working hard to try to bring in those players.”

A 1-1 draw with Manchester United was followed by a goalless draw with Newcastle United on Saturday which leaves Palace 12th in the Premier League with 24 points from 20 games.

GO DEEPER

Back-to-basics approach has helped steady Vieira’s ship after dismal run

(Photo: Getty Images)





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