Crystal Palace make transfer approach to Bristol City over deal for World Cup striker

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Bristol City have held firm so far on Antoine Semenyo - but will a new team test their resolve?

Crystal Palace have reportedly made ‘an approach’ to Bristol City for in-demand forward Antoine Semenyo ahead of the January transfer deadline.

Semenyo has been subject to much speculation over the last three weeks, but with five days left of the window, remains a player at Ashton Gate. The 22-year-old has been the Robins’ best-performing player since the turn of the new year with five involvements in the nine goals they have scored this year, including four goals.

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The former Sunderland loanee was subject to two offers from Bournemouth last Thursday, which were both turned down, as well as a bid from Championship rivals Burnley, who lodged an offer this month. Both teams were unsuccessful in their attempts to sign Semenyo and have moved on to other targets. Nicolas Jackson is close to joining Bournemouth from Villarreal for nearly £20m, but according to the Daily Express, he has undergone a medical and they may have concerns over his fitness.

At Burnley, South African striker Lyle Foster has joined and they are also eyeing up the signing of Swansea City’s Michael Obafemi. Burnley could return for Semenyo in the summer, but it does depend on whether they win promotion to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

Despite two clubs seemingly cooling their interest, two other teams have now stepped up their interest and could look to act on it shortly. A report from the Daily Mail says that the Premier League club have made their first steps into organising a transfer for the World Cup striker. An approach for the forward is to get an understanding of how a deal could take place, such as the club’s valuation, and how a deal could be structured, with all avenues being explored. Semenyo is said to be highly rated by Eagles manager Patrick Vieira.

Palace have been long-term admirers of Semenyo, and have utilised the Championship market, signing the likes of Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise from Queens Park Rangers and Reading respectively. The Eagles are on the search for attacking reinforcements which would help their bid towards survival with Viera’s side currently 12th.

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Southampton are also said to hold an interest in Semenyo and have made an enquiry to Bristol City about the Ghana striker, who came on twice in Qatar. Semenyo was not initially top of the Saints’ transfer wish list but have been knocked back in their attempts, and Bournemouth hijacked a move for Jackson, which has put Semenyo higher up on their transfer priorities.

Semenyo has one-year left on his deal with his contract expiring in the summer of 2024, after the club decided to activate a clause in his contract. Bids of £8m and £10m were rejected by Bournemouth last week and so a valuation of £12-15m is likely, with a replacement also needed to replace him. In the event of a potential sale, Bristol City have been looking at targets with a contingency plan in place, like they did with the sale of Dan Bentley to Wolves with Nikita Haikin joining until the end of the season.

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