Crystal Palace surely have the edge over West Ham in the race for former Chelsea defender Gary Cahill based on the latest report on the battle to sign the centre-back.
The Sun previously reported in July that West Ham, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Leicester were all interested in the enforcer after Chelsea released him at the end of the 2018/19 campaign.
The national newspaper claimed that Cahill wanted to stay in London, and given West Ham finished higher than Palace in the league last season then it seemed likely they could be in pole position for him.
However even though Football Insider suggested the Hammers could be about to rev up their pursuit of the free-agent as they could launch a move next week, the Daily Mail’s report since, makes it seems like he is Palace bound.
The Daily Mail reported that Palace were hoping to convince Cahill to join them ahead of West Ham and Burnley, with the report stating that Palace not only appealed to Cahill due to it allowing him to stay in London, but they appealed to him as it would give him a chance to work with Roy Hodgson again.
The 71-year-old boss utilised Cahill when he was England boss and the enforcer clearly respects Hodgson as he previously jumped to his defence during his England reign, as stated by BBC Sport, and spoke fondly of him in a previous interview with Bleacher Report.
Given this connection and that Cahill is no doubt confident that Hodgson would give him playing time if he rocked up at Palace, then surely they have the edge of the Hammers when it comes to his services.
This is especially the case when you consider Football Insider’s report stated that Cahill isn’t the Hammers’ first-choice in their hunt for a new centre-back, which implies that he won’t be guaranteed minutes at the London Stadium.
The 33-year-old only played for 22 minutes in the Premier League last season, averaging a rating of only 6.12 due to his lack of playing time, and it’s likely he’d rather go to a club and be with a manager he knows will play him, then risk another season on the sidelines. (Source: WhoScored)
So with that in mind, unless Pellegrini rolls out the red carpet for Cahill in the next week, chances are the Hammers’ London rivals Palace will win the race for him.