Crystal Palace set their sights on experienced West Ham defender

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Crystal Palace may have an FA Cup final to contend with this weekend, but reports suggest Alan Pardew is already lining up his transfer targets, with West Ham defender James Tomkins believed to be high up on the Eagles’ manager’s list of priorities.

The versatile 27-year-old, who is equally comfortable at right-back and centre-back featured 29 times for the Hammers last season, the club with whom he has spent his entire career – a brief loan spell at Derby County in 2008 aside.

Pardew’s Palace avoided the Premier League relegation battle, but the side did show some defensive frailties, keeping just one clean sheet in the league since the beginning of 2016.

That record means the Eagles boss is likely to recruit new faces in defence this summer, and bringing in a player with over 200 Premier League games under his belt could be just the thing to bolster Palace’s leaky backline.

Tomkins is valued at £4.5m by transfermarkt.co.uk, and if the Irons’ valuation of the player is similar, then securing the former England U21 international’s signature could be very good business for the Selhurst Park outfit.

Palace are in action on Saturday, as they face Manchester United in the FA Cup Final – the same opposition the Eagles were up against last time they reached this stage, in 1990.

The south London outfit are 4/1 for victory within 90 minutes, and 9/4 to lift the trophy, with the Red Devils 4/11 to give Louis van Gaal his first taste of silverware in English football.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Dave Burin

Dave graduated with an MA in English Literature at Durham University, and worked in marketing before joining the Ladbrokes News team. A Man United fan and avid groundhopper, he’s also an ardent follower of Rugby League. You can usually find him at a ground near you, clutching a big cup of tea.