Not wanted by Chelsea or Valencia, Michy Batshuayi was much in demand on transfer deadline day with clubs from the top flights of England and Spain chasing his signature.
Sky Sports reported that it was Crystal Palace who won the race after both London clubs submitted deal sheets before the 11pm deadline. The paperwork commits the player and clubs to completing the deal within the next two hours – so, by 1am on Friday morning – otherwise it falls through.
That’s a familiar feeling for clubs trying to lure the 25-year-old Belgian. Real Betis and West Ham United went toe-to-toe this morning with the Hammers eventually seeing off their Spanish rivals before they themselves were knocked out of contention by Tottenham’s interest.
Chelsea, however, refused to countenance a loan deal for the Belgium international who proved an unmitigated flop during a spell with Valencia during the first half of the season. Their rivals for a top-four place would need to spend around £40m on a permanent deal.
To the disappointment of Team Batshuayi, Spurs walked away, and a miserable day was saved by Crystal Palace’s late intervention.
It’s not the first time the Eagles tried to land Batshuayi. Prior to Euro2016 when the striker left Marseille, Palace had a £38m bid accepted for his services. To the disappointment of the French club, the player opted for a move to Chelsea whose bid was £5m less than their South London rivals.
Now, it seems, Palace will finally land their man.