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Barcelona defender 'to undergo Crystal Palace medical this week ahead of permanent move'

Barcelona man 'to undergo Palace medical this week ahead of permanent move'
© Reuters
A Barcelona defender is reportedly set to undergo a medical at Crystal Palace this week ahead of completing a permanent transfer to Selhurst Park.

A Barcelona defender is reportedly scheduled to undergo a medical at Crystal Palace this week ahead of completing a permanent transfer to Selhurst Park.

The Eagles have been flying high since the arrival of manager Oliver Glasner in the middle of February and they ended the 2023-24 season with a strong run of form to secure a top-10 finish in the Premier League.

Palace were sitting 16th in the standings and just five points above the relegation zone when Glasner replaced Roy Hodgson, but an impressive run of six victories and one draw in their final seven league matches helped them soar up to 10th spot, finishing 23 points above the bottom three.

The Eagles are now planning for the future and have already confirmed that Joel Ward, Jeffrey Schlupp and Will Hughes have all penned contract extensions, while James Tomkins and Jairo Riedewald will be leaving the club when their deals expire in June.

Glasner recently addressed speculation about the futures of a number of star players including Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze, and while departures cannot be ruled out, incomings appear to be on the cards at Selhurst Park.

Real Betis' Chadi Riad pictured on September 16, 2023© Reuters

Chadi Riad closing in on Crystal Palace move

According to BBC Sport, Barcelona defender Chadi Riad will have a medical at Crystal Palace on Wednesday or Thursday of this week before completing a permanent move worth £12m plus £2m in add-ons.

The report adds that the Eagles have been in talks with the Catalan giants since last week over the centre-back and a deal now appears to be on the verge of completion.

Riad is a two-cap Morocco international who spent last season on loan at Real Betis, where he made 30 appearances in all competitions, including 26 La Liga starts.

The 20-year-old was a first-team regular for Manuel Pellegrini's side who finished seventh in the Spanish top-flight table to secure Europa Conference League football for next season.

Real Betis' Chadi Riad in action with Real Madrid's Luka Modric on December 9, 2023© Reuters

Riad identified as Guehi replacement?

Prior to his season-long loan spell at Betis, Riad joined Barcelona's academy in 2019, and after featuring regularly for the club's B Team, he eventually made his senior debut as a late substitute in November 2022.

However, Riad has never played for Barcelona since and is now keen to gain regular first-team football with Palace in the Premier League.

The expected arrival of Riad at Selhurst Park come at a time when speculation over the future of Palace defender Marc Guehi is rife amid reported interest from clubs including Manchester United.

Guehi has established himself as a star player for the Eagles over the last three seasons, making 111 appearances, and has also earned nine England caps during that time.

The 23-year-old recovered from injury to feature in Palace's final three league games of the campaign and has since been called up to England's preliminary squad ahead of Euro 2024.

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