Crystal Palace are set to agree terms with Mainz over the acquisition of current loan player Jean-Philippe Mateta after seeing other avenues grind to a halt.
An interesting turn of events has led to Palace nearing a permanent agreement for Mateta. Indeed, the player was close to leaving the club just weeks ago.
The Frenchman joined the Eagles on an 18-month loan in January 2021. He managed just seven appearances last season, and has featured in nine games this term.
Mateta’s contract has a clause that states should he make a certain amount of Premier League starts, Palace must sign him for £13million.
As such, Patrick Vieira has utilised him sparingly since coming to the club. However, Mateta has not met that mark of starts, and Palace are now set to acquire him for much cheaper.
They have negotiated a fee of just £8million with Mainz, per Evening Standard.
Indeed, it is a strange development, as the striker was close to joining Saint-Etienne recently.
However, Vieira has utilised Mateta more frequently since December. The forward has contributed to two goals in the last four games. Indeed, his excellent performance in the unfortunate recent loss to Liverpool appears to have convinced Vieira.
Furthermore, Palace failed to land Eddie Nketiah from Arsenal this window. As such, making Mateta’s move permanent seems the best course of action.
Vieira will hope the Frenchman repays his confidence by continuing in a good vein of form.
Mateta in but Benteke could leave
Crystal Palace may lose forward Christian Benteke to West Ham in the closing stages of the January window.
West Ham’s need for a second striker is apparent, as Michail Antonio has been the only recognised senior striker at the club this season.
With the Hammers likely unable to sign Darwin Nunez, their attention has shifted to Benteke.
The Belgian rejected an approach from Burnley recently. However, West Ham is a much more attractive prospect, given their European endeavours.