Crystal Palace accused of 'trying to pull Getafe's trousers down' in failed Vicente Guaita pursuit

Palace seal £9m deal for 22-year-old striker Alexander Sorloth but their public pursuit for a new goalkeeper ends in failure

Ed Malyon
Thursday 01 February 2018 09:00
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Crystal Palace entered January in dire need of a goalkeeper and a striker but enter February having only added the latter, going beyond the deadline to seal a deal for Alexander Sorloth.

The 22-year-old Norwegian international arrives from FC Midtjylland for a fee beginning at £9m, and will provide relief and competition for Christian Benteke.

Sorloth is viewed as a top prospect and recruitment specialists from two rival clubs told The Independent that Palace had pulled off a coup by signing the young forward.

However, the Eagles failed to tie up a deal for a goalkeeper despite frank admissions both in private and in public that one was needed.

Vicente Guaita had been the first choice option and a contract was agreed but Getafe insisted Palace pay his £7m release clause when the player claimed to have an agreement that he could leave for £3.5m.

With terms agreed, a Bosman can still take place in the summer but Getafe awaited on an increased bid from Palace on deadline day. Instead, they received a reduced bid which was rejected out of hand. A local radio station reported a club official saying “they tried to pull down our trousers”.

The Eagles had lined up Fredrik Ronnow of Brondby as a contingency plan should Guaita not go through in January and the south Londoners submitted a deal sheet to the Premier League allowing the paperwork for his move to be completed after the 11pm deadline.

But a hitch in replacing Ronnow forced Brondby to pull out and left Palace to muddle through the rest of the season with Wayne Hennessey and Julian Speroni as their only senior goalkeepers.

Vicente Guaita's contract expires in the summer and he should still join Palace

The Eagles also signed midfielder Erdal Rakip and central defender Jarek Jach earlier in January, but may be left thin in forward positions by Bakary Sako’s injury sustained on Tuesday night.

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