With the January transfer window looming ever nearer, clubs are increasingly looking for ways to improve their squad, and the latest reports suggest Crystal Palace and Stoke are set to battle it out for former Premier League hotshot Robin van Persie.
Both sides have struggled for out and out goalscorers in the past, and Van Persie – currently at Turkish side Fenerbahce – is reportedly keen on a return to English shores.
The Dutchman sits 11th in the Premier League top scorer’s list with 144, and is a two-time Golden Boot winner.
At 33, the former Manchester United and Arsenal striker may not be able to replicate the form which saw him net a stunning 104 Premier League goals in just 138 games at his nadir between 2009 and 2014, but Van Persie still has plenty to offer.
The two-time Premier League winner hit 22 goals last season with Fenerbahce, and remains one of the most instinctive and intelligent centre forwards in the game.
His age will simply ensure any potential buyers needn’t splash out on astronomic fees, especially now it’s believed Van Persie is ready to take a sizeable pay cut to return to England.
Between the two aforementioned sides who may lure the former World Cup finalist back to England, Stoke would seem a more plausible destination and were linked with a move in the summer.
Logistically the Potters can offer RVP a return to – fairly – familiar climes, and he’d be likely to get plenty of gametime.
Stoke don’t possess a pukka striker on a full-time deal, with the on-loan Wilfried Bony currently their main option up front.
Palace, you would imagine, have committed themselves to Christian Benteke, having splurged £25m on the Belgian this summer from Liverpool.
Alan Pardew would have one ace up his sleeve however, and it’s the style of football.
A quick highlights reel of Van Persie’s finest moments reveals his deadly aerial talents, whether it be with the head or a volley.
For Palace to boast both Benteke and van Persie would be a real coup.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing