The agent of AC Milan right-back Andrea Conti has revealed that his client rejected the chance to join Crystal Palace in the summer.
Conti, 25, was just one of 15 players signed by the Rossoneri in 2017/18, but he has so far seen his San Siro career plagued by two serious knee injuries.
How close were Palace to signing Conti? Five things to know…
- Conti joined AC Milan from Atalanta in 2017 for a fee in the region of £20m.
- His career has so far been hampered by two serious knee injuries.
- Crystal Palace sold right-back Wan-Bissaka to Man Utd for £45m in the summer.
- As such, Hodgson is said to have enquired about the availability of Conti.
- However, Conti’s agent has now revealed that his client rejected Palace.
Signed from fellow Serie A club Atalanta for around £20m two years ago, the once-capped Italy international has featured just 25 times for AC Milan.
Roy Hodgson was in the market for a right-back following the sale of Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United in June, but Conti had no desire to leave his homeland.
“Over the summer, he [Conti] had offers from Parma, Werder Bremen, Crystal Palace, SPAL and other teams, at least five or six of them, but he insisted on staying at Milan,” Conti’s agent, Mario Giuffredi, told Milan News.
Conti forged a reputation as a buccaneering right-back during his time with Atalanta, and Giuffredi says his client must always be deployed there if Milan want to get the best out of him.
“If he’s a right-back, he must always be played as one,” he added. “He played as a right-sided defender in a back three against Lecce and Roma.
“He needs to play in his correct position.”
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How have Palace fared without Wan-Bissaka?
Despite seeing Wan-Bissaka leave for £45m in the summer, the Eagles spent only £6m themselves and failed to bring in a replacement right-back.
As such, 30-year-old Joel Ward has taken back his starting berth in defence, having previously been supplanted by Wan-Bissaka the season prior.
The Emsworth-born defender has started all 12 games for Palace at right-back, missing just 46 minutes of action.
His exploits have helped Palace concede just 16 goals this season, the seventh-lowest amount of any club in the Premier League.