Crystal Palace have been linked with a move for Chelsea left back Marcos Alonso as the Eagles seek a viable alternative to Patrick van Aanholt, whose contract expires in the summer.
The Spaniard was once viewed as one of the best wing backs in the Premier League, but it has steadily become apparent that was more due to Antonio Conte being a miracle worker than anything else. Alonso hasn't been named in a squad since he was hooked at half time in September's 3-3 draw with West Brom. The comeback, incidentally, started in the second half.
The Athletic reported at the time that his antics in that match might have proved the final straw for his Chelsea career. The 29-year-old made two glaring errors leading to goals before his withdrawal at the break, at which point he is said to have returned to the team bus instead of watching it from the stands with his team-mates.
That, in turn, set off Frank Lampard, who was already reeling from a poor performance, and Alonso hasn't played a minute since.
He faces a crossroads in his career, then, but might not have to move far to resolve it. The Mail say Palace are considering a move for him as a contingency plan for Van Aanholt, who they fear may leave for free when his contract expires in June.
The report is a little grey on the details. It doesn't state, for instance, whether Palace want to sign him in January or wait until the summer, though it stands to reason that it would be the latter, considering Van Aanholt is around until then. Alonso, meanwhile, seems likely to be keen on a move in the winter window, given it's his only chance of playing football between now and May.
His wages would also be a significant sticking point, as he is inexplicably on around £100k per week at Chelsea. Palace would likely have to offload players to fund that, though Mamadou Sakho (!!!) is one of four players on a similar wage at the south London club.so anything is possible.
The Mail further note that Palace's first choice is to tie Van Aanholt down to a new deal, which they remain hopeful of. Marseille and former Aston Villa left-back Jordan Amavi is another name mooted if they cannot.