Crystal Palace have confirmed the signing of Brazilian attacker Matheus Franca from Flamengo.

The 19-year-old arrives at Selhurst Park for a reported £26m and becomes just their second signing of the summer window after the free transfer of Jefferson Lerma.

Franca had supposedly been attracting interest from Chelsea after breaking into the Flamengo first team, but Palace have won the race to bring him to the Premier League.

“I’m very happy to be here. I hope I can bring good results for our supporters, for the other players and everybody else in the team,”

“I’m very excited for my first game here at my new home, giving my best for my new team. I hope all the supporters are happy with me coming here. I bet it is going to be good for all of us.”

Franca told

Chairman Steve Parish added:

“Matheus is a young and exciting player whose impressive early progress we have followed with keen interest, and we are delighted to welcome him to the club.

“Palace have a long history of attacking players with skill, pace, and tenacity, and I am sure Matheus will be another popular addition to the nucleus of this young and entertaining squad, packed full of international talent and potential, that we are building here in south London.”

The 2004-born attacker leaves Flamengo having scored nine goals in 54 matches for the Brazilian giants across all tournaments, winning the Copa Libertadores and Copa do Brasil in 2022.

Franca netted three goals in 29 outings for the South American giants in the 2023 campaign before making the switch to Selhurst Park, and he is comfortable as a right winger and attacking midfielder.

The teenager also boasts two caps for Brazil’s Under-20 team, although he failed to make their squad for the recent World Cup and is still waiting for his maiden international appearance at senior level.

Franca reinforces Palace’s attack following the departure of Wilfried Zaha on a free transfer to Galatasaray, while Michael Olise’s future is also up in the air amid interest from Chelsea and Manchester City.

Olise is believed to possess a £35m release clause in his Eagles contract, although the France Under-21 international is currently sidelined with a serious hamstring injury, which he sustained at last month’s Euros.

Franca could make his Palace debut in next weekend’s Premier League opener against newly-promoted Sheffield United, prior to which Roy Hodgson’s side will face Lyon in their final summer friendly later on Saturday.

Source: Sports Mole

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