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Crystal Palace step up interest in Everton’s Demarai Gray

Crystal Palace will step up their efforts to sign attacker Demarai Gray from Everton this summer, according to the Daily Mail.

The 27-year-old is reportedly unhappy with being a second-string option for Toffees manager Sean Dyche.

The former Burnley boss preferred Dwight McNeil on the left wing during the second half of the season, which limited Gray’s game time.

Frustrated by falling down the pecking order, Gray wants to leave the club and Palace are interested in signing him.

He also has interest from the Saudi Pro League, where several clubs would like to acquire his services. 

Everton want around £12 million for Gray, who they signed from Bayer Leverkusen for £1.7m during Rafa Benitez’s tenure.

They want to strengthen their attack but will let Gray leave due to Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

Everton have already sold Ellis Simms for £8m to Championship club Coventry City, where he will replace Viktor Gyokeres.

They have little money for transfers, with Ashley Young their only summer signing. They have also spoken with Villarreal’s Arnaut Danjuma, but the move is not close.

Gray netted six goals in 36 appearances for the Merseyside club as they narrowly escaped relegation again last season. 

The Jamaican international could replace Wilfried Zaha, who has not decided on his future at Palace. They are still hoping the free agent will sign a deal with them.

Palace are targeting a move for Flamengo’s Matheus Franca despite tightening their budget.

Franca and Gray could deputise for attacker Michael Olise. He will miss the early part of next season with a hamstring injury he suffered while on duty for France.

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