Crystal Palace are preparing to launch a £5 million bid for Newcastle United defender Ciaran Clark, according to The Sun.
The report suggests that Roy Hodgson is looking at the 6’2″ [Transfermarkt] Republic of Ireland international as potential defensive cover next season, with the Eagles lacking depth at the heart of their backline, and on the right hand side.
Although a £5 million fee is mooted, it is also understood that the Londoners could try for a season-long loan instead.
It is up to Steve Bruce to decide whether can afford to lose the 29-year-old.
You wouldn’t blame Newcastle fans for being a little bit ambivalent on this one. On the one hand, Clark is a decent enough player, and he’s more than capable of mixing it in the top flight. Throw in the fact that Palace are likely to end up quite near the Magpies in the table, and you have to ask if letting the Irishman go would be that wise? On the other hand, £5 million is not to be sniffed at when you have an owner as tight as Mike Ashley, and it’s not for what Clark was involved last year anyway. When he did play, he was solid enough, averaging 1.7 tackles and a massive 5.1 clearances per game [Whoscored], but it’s easy to foresee him being deemed surplus to requirements by Bruce too. It’s not necessarily a simple decision for the new Toon boss to make, but for what it’s worth, there’s probably a fair amount of merit to keeping a player of his experience in reserve, just in case the worst comes to the worst injury-wise.