Palace continue to be linked with the Bochum youngster and recently placed a formal bid.
REPORT: Crystal Palace Place Offer for Armel Bella-Kotchap
Palace Bid for Bella-Kotchap
Palace’s bid for Bella-Kotchap appears to be close to Bochum’s valuation of the player. However, the price of the club’s opening bid has not been disclosed.
The Bundesliga 2 side seem willing to sell their highly-rated 18-year-old defender, who has made just 14 senior appearances for the club.
Bochum could also demand a generous fee for Bella-Kotchap. His current contract expires in June 2024.
Bella-Kotchap impressed for Bochum in his 14 appearances and also represented Germany at U18 level. The teenager could also represent both Cameroon and France.
The centre-back attracted interest from a host of clubs across Europe earlier this season, including from other Premier League teams.
The defender kept clinical goal-scorer Robert Lewandowski quiet throughout the match.
The young German made his senior debut for Bochum late in the 2018/19 season against FC Erzgebirge Aue.
Since then, he has slowly become a regular feature in the first-team, whilst continuing to play in the U19 Bundesliga West.
Palace Looking Towards Youth
Palace’s move for Bella-Kotchap shows their willingness to look towards younger players for the future.
19-year-old Nathan Ferguson arrived at the end of last season. The Eagles also signed 18-year-old Scott Banks in January.
Last season, Palace fielded the team with the oldest averaged age in the Premier League (29). This season, and in the future, they’ll be desperate to lower that number.
If the Palace offer is accepted, it will be interesting to see whether the 18-year-old will be used in the development squad or in the first team.
It’s likely the defender will receive similar paying time as he did at Bochum. He will probably move between the first team and the youth team as he builds experience.
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