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Red and Blue View: Palace-linked 19-year-old must be among Freedman's priorities this summer

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According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Crystal Palace have entered the race to sign Juventus centre-back Radu Drăgușin this summer.

The Italian news outlet add that Newcastle and RB Leipzig are also keen on the 19-year-old, who is well thought of in Turin.

Drăgușin is trusted by Andrea Pirlo, according to the report, and has already made his debut in Serie A, the Champions League and also the Coppa Italia.

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However, the teenager’s contract expires in June, and he is yet to commit to fresh terms as he wants guarantees over his first-team pathway – he doesn’t want to go out on loan.

In that respect, we could have a chance at landing the 4-cap Romania Under-19 international this summer – as a result, Drăgușin should be one of Dougie Freedman’s priorities.

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Why? Well, at a first glance, you might think our centre-back situation looks pretty healthy.

Roy Hodgson has James Tomkins, Mamadou Sakho, Gary Cahill, Scott Dann, Cheikhou Kouyate and Martin Kelly to choose from.

However, all of these men are aged 30 or over, and are also quite injury prone – there is a severe lack of freshness in Palace’s centre-back department.

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As a result, Drăgușin needs to be a top target for us, as some youthfulness desperately needs to be injected into the centre of our backline.

It’s fine to have the aforementioned six for next season, but some long-term planning needs to be done so that Freedman isn’t scampering around to find three or four new centre-backs all in one window.

It will be tough to fend off Newcastle and RB Leipzig, but we must get this deal done – or at the very least, sign another young centre-back.

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