August 31, 2017

Crystal Palace have made a last-ditch attempt to strengthen their defence after they tabled a £23m offer for Manchester City's Eliaquim Mangala.

The Eagles are desperate to add another centre-back to manager Frank de Boer's squad to help stem the flood of goals that they have shipped already this term.

Citizens outcast Mangala is almost certain to leave the Etihad before Thursday's 11pm deadline, and BBC Sport has reported that his likely destination could now be Selhurst Park.

Liverpool's Mamadou Sakho had been Palace's primary defensive target all summer long, but the Londoners have averted their gaze elsewhere after the Reds refused to drop their £30m asking price for the out-of-favour France international.

That attention has swiftly turned up the M62 towards Mangala, and Palace are now hoping that Sakho's international compatriot will agree to trade Champions League football and potential silverware in favour of more regular game time in the capital.

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Any chances of Palace completing a simple deal to land Mangala, however, could be thwarted by West Bromwich Albion or Serie A sleeping giants Inter Milan.

The Baggies are also interested in acquiring the 26-year-old's signature and, with City still believed to be chasing their centre-half Jonny Evans, a compromise could be reached between Pep Guardiola's side and West Brom that sees both players switch clubs for decent fees.

Mangala himself is thought to have expressed an interest in joining I Nerazzurri over either Premier League side.

City are reluctant to sanction such a move, though, with Inter said to want to take the former Valencia star on a season-long loan with a view to a permanent deal next summer if Mangala impresses in Italy.

Both rivals' deals would prove to be huge blows to Palace's hopes of adding Mangala to their ranks, and their best hope is that City refuse to entertain Inter's loan wishes and that West Brom resist Guardiola's overtures to lure Evans away from the Midlands.

If all of that falls into place then de Boer may nab Mangala in time. If not then it could prove to be a frantic last few hours of the window for Palace's already beleaguered boss.

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