Crystal Palace linked with forward previously wanted by Brighton

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Crystal Palace have been linked with a move for Fiorentina striker Khouma Babacar.

The Senegal international was close to a reported £16.6m move to Palace’s fierce rivals Brighton on transfer deadline day in August, but talks broke down.

However, reports in Italy – picked up by TalkSport and the Croydon Advertiser – suggest Babacar’s agent has met with Palace officials.

With Christian Benteke out injured, boss Roy Hodgson is known to want a striker, having bemoaned his options following the defeat by Tottenham earlier this month.

“It would be nice by the end of the season to have one person who is a centre-forward and goalscorer,” Hodgson said.

“They have [Harry] Kane, Son [Heung-min] and [Fernando] Llorente, and all we have if we want to change something is Bakary Sako, a left winger trying his best as a centre-forward.”

Babacar, 24, made his international debut in March, playing the second half of a friendly with Ivory Coast.

He has scored 36 goals in 119 games for Fiorentina in all competitions, and hit 10 in Serie A last season.

The 24-year-old has played 18 times in the Europa League.




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