Crystal Palace are reportedly moving one step closer towards the capture of RC Lens’ midfield sensation Cheick Doucoure.

Crystal Palace’s plans for the new season appear to be up and running already. As per a report from The Sun, the Londoners are closing in on their first signing of the new season in the form of Cheick Doucoure. The RC Lens midfielder is expected to join the club at the end of the season, penning a long-term contract.

Crystal Palace have agreed a move worth £15 million with the Ligue 1 outfit, which makes him a far cheaper alternative than another top target in Edson Alvarez. The report fails to mention any other exact terms of the deal, but the move is likely to be finalised after the end of the season.

A native of Bamako, the capital of Mali, Doucoure had been a part of the Lens setup since the summer of 2018. He was brought in as a youth prospect looking to make his mark at the highest level of football. He was initially drafted as a reserve team player, but it did not take the Ligue 1 outfit too long to figure out his potential.

A defensive midfielder by trade, Doucoure racked up 27 league appearances in his first season at the club. He has since racked up 128 competitive appearances for the Ligue 1 club, playing a vital role in the club’s meteoric rise and the promotion to Ligue 1.

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Over the years, the 22-year-old has been critical to Franck Haise’s tactical setup at RC Lens. His energy, urgency and work ethic have made Lens one of the most competitive sides in Ligue 1, with the midfielder himself building a reputation as one of the best holding midfielders in the French top flight.

In light of his recent success, Crystal Palace are prepared to snap up the Malian international in the summer. Doucoure is likely to serve as an alternative for Cheikhou Kouyate and Luka Milivojevic, thus offering more variety and depth in the middle of the park.

Despite being 22, the Lens midfielder has the leadership qualities as well, which could be useful for a Crystal Palace side highly reliant on youth players at the moment.

With Doucoure’s signing almost done and dusted, the Eagles are now expected to shift their attention towards their other top target in the form of Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Crystal Palace are indeed desperate to bring the Manchester United outcast back to Selhurst Park in the summer, though the fate of the pursuit solely rests on the verdict of new coach Erik ten Hag.

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