From Palace to Gray – an interesting day
Wednesday 22nd June started like most days have recently. Sean Dyche was short odds for the Crystal Palace job, there was precious little transfer speculation for us to get excited about and I took the opportunity to start my walking regime and disappeared in the mist on Crown Point Road in Burnley.
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting it, walk apart, to be any different than the days we’ve had recently, but by the time the clock reached midnight, Dyche’s position at Burnley had become significantly more secure, we were in talks with a player, linked with a couple more and Andre Gray was supposedly set to get in the same car to Goodison Park as Michael Keane.
It was very early afternoon, around 1:30 p.m., that the Daily Mirror broke the news that Palace had offered the job to Frank de Boer (pictured). When I’d looked earlier in the day he was second favourite behind Mauricio Pellegrino with Dyche a close third. There was nothing in it to be honest and only a couple of reassuring comments from journalists had eased the concerns of having to search for a new manager.
I was surprised with the news. I have a soft spot for Inter Milan so that led me to rule out de Boer. I c can’t even remember Pellegrino at Liverpool and, to be honest, I know nothing about him. Sky confused him last week with Manuel Pellegrini; I do too, and others have even referred to him as Mauricio Pochettino.
You can still have a bet on the Palace job if you wish. On Sky bet you can get 11/1 on Dyche but you won’t win much with de Boer who is now listed at 1/20. However, I’m sure we’ll be happier once we see the pictures of de Boer holding up a Palace scarf on the Selhurst Park pitch alongside Steve Parish.
“Now we can get on with recruitment,” someone posted on the message board and before we could respond, it started.
Earlier in the day we’d been linked with Bristol City’s left-back Joe Bryan, a surprising one I thought, and with young Liverpool wide man Sheyi Ojo who, it was reported, we’d like to bring in on loan. Ojo, who celebrated his 20th birthday four days ago, has been at Liverpool for six years since moving from MK. He’s had loans at Wigan and Wolves previously and has also now made eight Premier League appearances for Liverpool including five starts.
Bryan I considered was a surprise given the links with Hull’s Andrew Robertson are strong. Last season our left-back cover for Stephen Ward was Jon Flanagan who has now returned to Liverpool. Last summer we were linked with Charlie Taylor at Leeds while Robertson was very close to signing in January.
All the talk has been Robertson so far in this window, although there was a link recently with Middlesbrough’s George Friend who is now on Watford’s radar. Then, suddenly, during yesterday afternoon, came news that we were are in advanced talk with Taylor.
Some think this might be a plan to give Hull a push on Robertson. Taylor (pictured) looked destined for West Brom last week but they have cooled their interest because, it seems, Leeds don’t want to agree a fee for the player.
Phil Hay, in the Yorkshire Evening Post, reported: “West Brom have backed off from a deal for Taylor after several weeks of discussions with Leeds ended in stalemate over the left-back’s valuation. Albion are understood to be willing to pay around £5 million but United believe they could earn a higher sum if a decision on compensation is set by a tribunal.”
He added: “Burnley are keen on taking Taylor and would meet his wage demands comfortably but the Premier League side also want to secure a private deal with Leeds.”
It looks, one way or the other, that Wardy will have some competition next season for the left-back position but by the end of yesterday it was striker talk again with Gray being linked with getting in the same taxi as Keane destined for Goodison Park.
The pair of them will be out of contract in a year’s time. Little has been said about Gray although it is understood Keane turned down the opportunity of a new deal almost a year ago. The Gray link seems to be just a bit of speculation right now, but it brought an end to an interesting day as I nursed my aching legs after that drag up Crown Point Road.Follow UpTheClarets:
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