Crystal Palace close to signing Cheick Doucouré from Lens for an initial £18m | conversion window

Crystal Palace are wrapping up the signing of Malian midfielder Cheikh Doukuri after agreeing an initial fee of £18m.

The 22-year-old has emerged as one of Patrick Vieira’s main goals after excelling in Ligue 1 last season as Lens finished seventh, and Doucoury is expected to agree to a five-year contract at Selhurst Park after agreeing personal terms. Palace had last week turned down an initial offer of £14m but came back with an improved offer potentially worth more than £22m.

Vieira needs reinforcements in midfield following Conor Gallagher’s return to Chelsea and with doubts over the future of Cheikho Kouyate, whose deal expires at the end of this month. Talks over a new contract with the Senegal international have so far failed to produce an agreement, with clubs in Turkey believed to be interested in the 32-year-old.

With captain Luka Milivojevic not accepting and concerns over James MacArthur’s injury record despite the 34-year-old signing a contract extension, Doukuri is expected to fill the possession role in Palace’s midfield. Eberechi Eze should be more available having made just 13 Premier League appearances upon his return from an Achilles injury last season, but it is understood Palace are still targeting more midfield recruits in addition to the right-back.

A loan of Manchester United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka to his former club remains an option, and Palace have been linked with a permanent move to Chelsea defender Levi Colwell. Former Derby striker Malcolm Ebewe has signed a five-year contract after Palace dispensed with Manchester United’s interest in the 18-year-old.

“I am delighted that Malcolm has chosen Crystal Palace as the best location to continue his development, following his impressive breakthrough in football in recent months,” said Steve Parish, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “He is a very desirable young player, and we very much expect to give him a platform to thrive at the highest level.”

Takumi Minamino completed a permanent transfer from Liverpool to me Monaco In a deal worth €18m (£15.5m). Liverpool will receive €15 million and €3 million in additions to the Japan international, who has not been able to secure a regular first-team role under Jurgen Klopp but has made important contributions during his two and a half years at Anfield. The 27-year-old was Liverpool’s top scorer last season in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup.

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Minamino, who signed a four-year contract with Monaco, cost Liverpool £7.25 million when they activated a release clause in his contract with Red Bull Salzburg in January 2020. He spent the second half of the title-winning 2019-20 season. On loan to Southampton, he played 55 games with Liverpool and scored 14 goals.

He follows striker Sadio Mane and Divock Origi away from Anfield in the summer as Klopp reconfigured his attack with the signing of Darwin Nunez of Benfica.

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