NIGERIAN-born playmaker and Super Eagles hopeful Ebere Eze remains the subject of last minute negotiations between English Premier League side Crystal Palace and Championship club Queens Park Rangers (QPR) as a dramatic deadline day deal is being haggled over.
Ebere 21, has been one of the most exciting players in the Championship this season, dazzling opposing teams with his mesmerising moves. Last season, he scored four goals and as many assists in 42 appearances for QPR and has continued from where he left off, prompting several Premier League sides to take an interest in him.
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson, has been a long-time admirer of Ebere but QPR insist that they will only sell him for £20m. With the transfer deadline closing tonight, Crystal Palace and QPR are still locked in talks but there are fears that they may not be able to reach agreement on a satisfactory price.
Former England manager Hodgson, believes that Ebere closely resembles Wilfred Zaha with the fearless manner in which he takes on defenders and bamboozled them with his dribbling skills and occasional bursts of acceleration. However, Crustal Palace are balking at the £20m asking price for a player who has not yet proven himself in the Premier League.
With only hours left before the January transfer window closes, it is not most likely that a deal will only take place over the summer. Palace are currently sitting 11th in the Premier League table and would have loved to strengthen their squad to avoid being caught up in a relegation dog fight.
Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr has been after Ebere for a while now but so too have England, who have capped him at the U20 level, meaning that even if the playmaker wants to play for Nigeria now, he will have to go through a Fifa switch. In November last year, Nigerian Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick flew into London to hold talks with the midfielder in a bid to convince him to opt for Nigeria.
Such switches can take up to a year to complete but Mr Pinnick is keen to start the process immediately, as he sees Ebere as a playmaker, considered the last missing piece in the jigsaw of the Super Eagles. Ebere has said he will make a decision about his international future soon.