The English Premier League side have reportedly offered Ireland U-19 international Jonathan Afolabi a contract to bring him to Selhurt Park ahead of the new season.
Premier League’s new-boys Aston Villa are also among several top sides keen on signing the exciting young forward who is currently on international duty for Ireland.
Just days ago, the exciting 19-year-old scored a well-taken goal to put the Republic of Ireland on their way to a semi-final spot at the U-19 European Championships as they secured a 2-1 win over Czech Republic.
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) July 21, 2019
The former Saints attacker can still represent the Super Eagles at the senior level as both his parents are from Nigeria.
Afolabi is still undecided about that part of his future but notes his parents’ – especially his mother’s – preference for him to represent their country of birth.
“It can be tough. I’ve thought about it a couple of times, but I’ve overthought it.
“Whereas I’ve grown up in Ireland, I know where I’m from is Tallaght in Dublin. I’ve spoken to my parents.
“My ma doesn’t know much about football, but she wants me play for Nigeria, because it’s her home country.
“But I’ve been playing with Ireland for a long time and want to keep that going. That’s the way I see it.”
Afolabi started his career with St. Joseph’s Boys in Ireland and only recently completed a two-year scholarship program at Southampton.
He was however released by the Saints having been declared surplus to requirements.
His exploits at the European Youth Championships appear to have reignited interests in him with Crystal Palace now offering a contract to the former Southampton striker, who is also interesting Aston Villa, according to Football.London.
Crystal Palace are set to have a vacancy in their forward positions with star player Wilfried Zaha set to force a move to Arsenal.
Jonathan Afolabi has represented the Republic of Ireland at Under-16 and Under-19 level but is still eligible to play for the Super Eagles.