London: Crystal Palace are poised to win the race for Max Meyer after holding productive talks with the former Schalke midfielder.
Meyer has been a free agent since leaving Schalke at the end of last season and Palace are confident of completing a deal for the 22-year-old German, who has been linked with Arsenal, Liverpool and Marseille this summer.
The arrival of Meyer, who is due to have a medical on Tuesday, would be a significant boost for Roy Hodgson as he looks to improve his squad before the new Premier League campaign. Capable of playing as a No. 10 or in a deeper role, Meyer is regarded as one of the best young players to emerge in Germany in recent years and has been capped four times since making his international debut in 2014.
However, he fell out with the Schalke hierarchy after failing to agree a new contract last season. The Bundesliga club were unwilling to meet Meyer’s wage demands and banished him from training in April after his public criticism of Christian Heidel, Schalke’s sporting director.
Meyer’s struggle to find a new club has raised eyebrows given his immense talent. Yet various suitors have felt he is too expensive and that has enabled Palace to offer him a route into the Premier League. As long as there are no late complications, the south Londoners expect Meyer to become their second summer signing this week.
Palace completed a deal for Vicente Guaita at the start of July, signing the Spanish goalkeeper on a three-year deal from Getafe, and Hodgson is keen to make further additions before the transfer window shuts on August 9. However, a deal to sign West Ham’s Cheikhou Kouyate, who is also a target for Porto, has stalled because of the Senegalese midfielder’s wage demands.
Manuel Pellegrini would rather sell Kouyate than Pedro Obiang, who wants to return to Sampdoria, and West Ham have quoted Palace a fee of pounds 9.5 million plus pounds 1.5 million in add-ons for the 28-year-old. Yet while Hodgson wants to bring in players with Premier League experience, reports in Turkey have suggested Palace could switch their attention to Fenerbahce’s Josef de Souza if there is no progress in negotiations with Kouyate.
Palace will also target the loan market before the transfer window closes and retain an interest in Tammy Abraham. The 20-year-old Chelsea forward scored eight goals during his loan spell with Swansea City last season.