Relegation-embattled side Crystal Palace have ramped up their interest in signing Uruguayan central defender Martin Caceres on a free transfer, in the hopes the player’s arrival could bolster their defence and increase their chances of staying in the Premier League.
The 29-year-old Caceres has been without a club since June of last year, after his contract with Serie A giants Juventus expired. Caceres was thought to be close to signing for AC Milan last month, but talks broke down after the two parties weren’t able to find middle ground over wages.
“I can confirm that he will not be joining us,” AC Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani told Italian outlet Mediaset.
“Our offer was not in line with his requests and could not manage to reach an economic agreement. He had successful medical but that was not enough,” the Rossoneri official added.
AC Milan’s failure to sign Caceres is thought to have bolstered Palace’s hopes they could tempt the player to move to England – and they are willing to splash the cash. According to Calcio Mercato, Crystal Palace will be offering Caceres £650,000 for the whole duration of his stay until the end of the season – close to £33,000 a week – in an effort to lure the player to Selhurst Park. AC Milan had only offered £17,000 a week.
While Caceres’ wage demands are relatively low for a Premier League side, Crystal Palace would still be committing a mistake in signing the player and here are three reasons why.
Caceres is severely out of form
Caceres’ mooted arrival at Crystal Palace is premised on the fact that he would be a short-term fix – a much-needed plug in a leaky defence. However, the fact the Uruguayan defender has been out of action since June of last year means he is severely out of form and would take a while to get fully fit. Suppose Palace are willing to wait until Caceres is deemed fit to play, that could take around a month or so – time the relegation-threatened side simply don’t have.
Caceres is no longer reliable in defence
A quick look of his defensive stats in the past three seasons or so indicate he is no longer the sturdy and trusty defender he once was, despite his relatively young age of 29. He might have been reliable at the back during his time in Spain with the likes of Sevilla and Barcelona, he no longer is capable of maintaining that top-calibre defensive play now. His mediocre performance at the World Cup with Uruguay is also another case in point.
Caceres is stricken with injuries
Caceres’ final two seasons with Juventus has been plagued with so much injuries, he has only managed to play in 23 matches for the Bianconeri. Given his injury record, Palace should reconsider their interest in the player.