Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew is set to commence battle with his West Brom counterpart Tony Pulis over the recruitment of Swansea contract rebel Neil Taylor.
The 25-year-old left back has just 18 months remaining on his current deal at the Liberty Stadium and is said to be seeking assurances of his place in the starting XI before penning a new contract.
The situation has put both Pardew and Pulis on red alert, with both managers believing the left-back slot needs improving at the respective clubs.
Taylor has been a regular starter under Garry Monk but talk of the manager looking into the potential availability of other left-backs is said to have Taylor weighing up his options.
A product of the Manchester City youth academy, Taylor earned his spurs at Wrexham before being snapped up by Swansea in 2007.
He has gone on to play over 100 times for the Swans, earn 20 caps for Wales and feature in the Great Britain team at the 2012 Olympics and at 25 is at the right age to take the next step in his career.
Both Palace and West Brom could be viewed as sideways moves for the Ruthin-born defender but the recruitment of Pardew and Pulis hints at brighter futures for the Eagles and the Baggies.
Pardew has got off to a flying start at Selhurst Park, beating Dover Athletic 4-0 in the FA Cup and picking up a valuable 2-1 away win at Tottenham last time out.
A trip to Burnley could well make it three wins on the bounce – with the visitors priced at 11/5 for all three points – while Premier League consolidation is also on the cards at 2/5.
Palace have shipped 31 goals so far this season – just two fewer than bottom side Leicester – and if Pardew is to secure survival, arrivals of Taylor’s ilk will be most welcomed by the Eagles’ fans.
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