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Sports News of Thursday, 31 August 2023


N17.7 Billion tag stalls Iheanacho move to Crystal Palace

Kelechi Iheanacho Kelechi Iheanacho

Kelechi Iheanacho's desire to join London club Crystal Palace is reportedly hanging in the balance with Leicester City pressing for a £18m deal, that is about N17.7 million with a conservative estimate of about 983.9 Nigerian Naira to a British Pound Sterling.

Influential Daily Mail quoted Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg as saying that Palace were willing to pay between £10-15m with add-ons, but the Foxes, who were relegated last season to the Championship, were stalling over the £18m price tag ‘even though striker is keen on the move’.

Earlier this week, Football Insider claimed Wolves have shortlisted Iheanacho as a potential striker signing ahead of the transfers deadline .

This summer transfer window will close in England at 11pm on September 1(tomorrow), but Iheanacho’s bid to return to the English Premier League action may not materialise soon unless there is a rapprochement between the Foxes (Leicester City) and The Eagles (Crystal Palace).

The former Manchester City star has less than 12 months to run on his contract and can negotiate a pre-contract agreement with foreign sides from January.

Scoring goals has long been a problem for Crystal Palace and Iheanacho is seen as a solution, as coach Roy Hodgson’s side have scored two goals in their opening three Premier League games; although they did fight back from 2-0 down to win 4-2 at Championship side Plymouth in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.

The 26-year-old Iheanacho has played three times for the Championship side this season but has failed to score.

He has 56 goals in 210 appearances in all competitions in his seven seasons at the club since joining from City for £25million in 2017.

However, the move depends on if they sell Jean-Philippe Mateta to RB Leipzig.

The Bundesliga side are one of several German clubs to be interested in Mateta, who has generally acted as backup to Odsonne Edouard at Selhurst Park, with Borussia Dortmund also said to be keen on his signature.

Palace would need to raise funds by selling the Frenchman before being able to spend on Iheanacho or Southampton’s Che Adams, another striker from a relegated side who has been catching their eye.

Iheanacho is considered important to the Foxes’ bid to return to the Premier League at the first attempt.

However, with his contract set to expire next summer, Leicester are aware they may need to do a cut-price deal in this window to avoid losing him for nothing.