​​Crystal Palace have registered an interest in signing £12m rated Marseille right back Hiroki Sakai as a means of bolstering their leaky defence.

The Eagles had been keen on signing ​Fulham right back Ryan Fredericks however, the 25-year-old Englishman has ​since ​joined Palace's Premier League rivals ​West Ham United, leaving the Selhurst Park based club to pursue other targets.

Subsequently, Marseille's Japanese defender Sakai has been identified as a potential candidate for the right back role at Selhurst Park, with it being believed that the Ligue 1 side would be willing to sanction the 28-year-old's departure this summer. He has currently three years remaining on his current deal at the Stade Velodrome, as reported by the Evening Standard.

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According to reports, Sakai has also attracted interest from a host of other top clubs, including Premier League duo. Brighton and Hove Albion and ​Leicester City, although they have taken issue with Marseille's valuation of the Japanese defender.

And despite there being interest emanating from ​Serie A, it is believed that Sakai's preferential destination would be the ​Premier League, subsequently leaving Crystal Palace firmly at the head of the race to sign the 28-year-old defender.

Furthermore, Sakai's wage demands would pose no problem for Palace, whose top stars earn double the Japan international's current amount.


Sakai finished the 2017/18 season with Marseille in strong fashion, having made 50 appearances across all competitions for Les Phocéens as they finished fourth in Ligue 1.