Playmaker to Palace?

By Keith Allman
Last updated : 12 January 2005
Eyal Berkovic may be set for a free transfer switch to Premier League rivals Crystal Palace. Milan Mandaric today admitted that, "There's been some conversation and speculation - I should say a bit more serious than speculation."

Eagles boss Iain Dowie is a big fan of the mecurial midfielder, and the pair were team mates during a spell under the charge of Harry Redknapp at West Ham. Berkovic is a fantastic player on his day, and just recently under new boss Zajec earned himself something of a "supersub" reputation - not least after turning the game in the final five minutes against West Brom, earning three points when it looked like we would take none.

At the time, Berko said he would rather be starting games than only playing ten minutes here or there, but was happy to play his part when needed. But with twenty-two starts for the first team in over a year since his move, a chance to get regular games under his belt whilst still in the top league must be mighty tempting.

There are two big stumblings blocks. One, his £20,000 a week wages - a huge tab for any club to pick up. Two, Mrs Berkovic; Eyal promised that Portsmouth would be his last club and once his contract was over he'd retire. Having said that, Palace is much closer to his house in London (obviously) and if a concrete offer was to follow it would surely be hard for him to turn down.

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