RYAN CHRISTIE’S chances of joining long-time admirer Patrick Vieira at Crystal Palace are fading.

The France and Arsenal legend, who took over as the London club’s boss eight days ago, was linked with an early move for the Celtic playmaker who is out of contract in January, as CQN reported.

Vieira was interested in the Scotland international last season when he was manager of Nice, but was given no encouragement by the Hoops hierarchy with the club gearing up for a bid for the historic tenth successive title.

However, the Parkhead club recognise their only chance of receiving a fee for the 26-year-old ex-Inverness Caley Thistle star is in this transfer window before he will be allowed to walk free at the turn of the year. Christie has consistently rejected offers of an extension and its now looks as though it is merely a question of when he leaves.

UP IN THE AIR…Ryan Christie goes through a gravity-defying ball-juggling routine.

But it is becoming increasingly unlikely Vieira will follow up his initial interest in the cultured midfielder, according to a report in The Sun.

Instead, the French World Cup winner appears to be heading back to his ex-clubs to sign the London side’s £20million-rated striker Eddie Nketiah and the Ligue 1 outfit’s Danish frontman Kasper Dolberg, who is valued around the £25million mark.

Plus Vieira is looking at Watford’s Senegal winger Ismaila Sarr, who was on ex-boss Roy Hodgson’s wanted list last summer, but the Selhurst Park club were scared off by the £25million asking fee.

Copenhagen defender Victor Nelsson is also a £10million target if former England and Chelsea centre-back Gary Cahill is does not agree a new deal.

Vieira will be splashing the cash as he puts his stamp on Palace, but it looks as though Christie has come off his radar.

However, Brendan Rodgers is still reported to be interested in a reunion at Leicester City while Lille continue to monitor the situation.


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