Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew recently confirmed that he has held successful talks with former Arsenal and AC Milan midfielder Mathieu Flamini over a possible move. The Frenchman is reportedly now undergoing a medical at the London club.
Towards the end of the transfer window, it was reported that The Eagles were one of many clubs that had expressed an interest in taking Jack Wilshere on loan. Alan Pardew had even held talks with the Englishman and his agent in London, but Wilshere eventually decided to opt for a loan move to Bournemouth. Since then, Alan Pardew has shifted his attention to a former Arsenal midfielder.
Mathieu Flamini was released last year after making over 93 appearances for the Gunners in his second spell after re-signing with them in 2013. Over the course of two spells under Arsene Wenger, Flamini went on to make nearly 250 appearances for the Gunners, winning 3 FA Cups in the process. The Frenchman remains a fan favourite at the Emirates.
According to SkySports, the 32-year-old is now undergoing a medical at Crystal Palace. The Frenchman was confirmed to be a target by Pardew in a recent interview with the Croydon Advertiser, who quote him as saying: “Mathieu is a player I am looking at, yes. He would give us a bit more experience to winning games.”
Should he sign with the Eagles, he would face competition from a number of players in that position, even if they aren’t of the same level as that of the players at the Emirates. It was one of the points that Pardew addressed in his interview. “We’ve had a couple of meetings with Mathieu to talk about what he would do here and how he would feel about competing with Cabaye, McArthur, Puncheon, Mutch, Chungy and Ledley,” said the former Newcastle United manager.
Flamini’s experience, however, will be key to Alan Pardew given that there is a dearth of players with ‘big match’ experience within the Eagles’ squad. “I like the fact whenever he played, he played in the big, big games at Arsenal when they needed someone to kind of lead the team over the line and get big results,” Pardew said.
Despite being deemed surplus to Arsenal’s requirements, he would be a valuable addition to the Crystal Palace squad and may be one of the signings of the season for the London club as they look to replace Australian international Mile Jedinak, who left for Aston Villa over the summer.