According to Sky Sports, Crystal Palace are in talks with Mainz 05 over an 18-month loan deal for Jean-Philippe Mateta.
Sky Sports believe that the Eagles are focusing on a deal that would see them pay £2.7 million to take the Frenchman on an 18-month loan.
Then, if he starts 15 Premier League games, the south Londoners will be obligated to buy the 23-year-old for a sum of £13.4 million.
Sky Sports add that Crystal Palace have had a long-standing interest in Mateta.
Now, in our opinion, Sporting Director Dougie Freedman could be about to pull off a masterstroke by sealing this initial £2.7 million loan.
Well, by taking Mateta on loan initially, it gives Roy Hodgson a good chance to examine the striker first-hand, to see if he can cut it in England.
If he shows he can score goals straight from the start, then the Eagles can keep playing him, hand him over 15 Premier League starts, and secure a bargain for just £13.4 million.
However, if he fails to impress – which should become apparent in less than 15 Premier League starts – then Hodgson can simply stop starting him, and pay no more than the mere loan fee.
That isn’t to say we should let Mateta rot on the bench if he doesn’t impress in under 15 Premier League starts.
It just means that his role can be limited exclusively to a substitute, and the Eagles won’t be required to pay anything over £2.7 million.
It sounds like a fantastic deal for the south Londoners, with very few negatives – if any.