Marseille defender Hiroki Sakai has been linked with a move to Crystal Palace, with Roy Hodgson looking to bolster his defence, according to the Evening Standard.

The Japanese international has bee on Palace’s radar for a while and, after one of their previous targets, Ryan Fredericks, joined West Ham yesterday, it is now understood that Sakai is a summer target

Joel Ward’s future at Selhurst Park is still unclear, with the full-back yet to sign a new deal, so with the possible departure of the right-back, a move for the Marseille man seems logical.

28-year-old Sakai signed a new deal with the French side last October and is valued at around £12m. He has seen a number of European and Premier League clubs show an interest in his services, including AC Milan, Napoli, Inter Milan, Brighton and Leicester.

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The Standard report that it is his ‘preference to play in England’ and that ‘he is seeking an increase on his current salary’, so a move to Palace could be on the cards.

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