Crystal Palace are “set to complete” the imminent signing of Bournemouth midfielder Jefferson Lerma, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.

Are Crystal Palace signing Lerma?

The Colombia international made 184 appearances at the Vitality Stadium after joining from Levante back in 2018, but with his contract expiring this summer, it’s recently been confirmed that he won’t be extending his stay and has now become a free agent on the market.

The Cherries’ former talisman started 37 out of 38 Premier League games last season and established himself as Gary O’Neil’s third best-performing offensive player which quickly attracted interest from several clubs in the top-flight.

TEAMtalk credited the Eagles, West Ham United, Leicester City, Fulham and Nottingham Forest all with an interest in the 28-year-old last month, but after pondering over the next stage of his career, it sounds like Roy Hodgson’s side have won the hot pursuit to bring him to Selhurst Park.

Taking to Twitter, Romano revealed that Crystal Palace are expected to finalise an agreement to sign Lerma for absolutely nothing following his departure from Bournemouth, with an announcement predicted imminently. He wrote:

“Crystal Palace are set to complete Jefferson Lerma deal on free transfer. The agreement is finally at the final stages, here we go expected soon. Lerma has left Bournemouth as his contract expires at the end of the month.”

Could Lerma be a positive addition at Crystal Palace?

Crystal Palace have played against Bournemouth and indeed Lerma several times in the Premier League so will know what he’s capable of, and the fact that they are set to acquire the defensive midfielder’s signature for free rather than entering the market and splashing big cash on a high-profile target is an absolute bargain.

The El Cerrito native is extremely strong in the natural aspect of his game, ranking in the 99th percentile for clearances and recording 50 tackles over the course of the previous campaign which was the second-highest total throughout his squad, form which has seen him hailed a “confident” and "outstanding" player by journalist Josh Bunting.

The Nike-sponsored gem, who can also contribute to efforts in the final third having netted five goals in the top-flight last term, is additionally a versatile operator with his ability to play in six different positions over the grass, including four in the midfield, at centre-back and right-back, so overall, he would be a fantastic addition to the central ranks in SE25.

2023-06-02T06:41:15Z dg43tfdfdgfd