Exclusive: Winner named in Wolves and Crystal Palace battle to sign defender

EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke

Crystal Palace are set to beat Wolves to the signing of non-league defender Jacob Mensah after signing him from under the nose of Nuno Espirito Santo, Football Insider sources understand.

Powerful centre-back Mensah has been likened to Manchester United’s Chris Smalling who also played non-league football with Maidstone United before moving to Fulham and later to Old Trafford.

Mensah, who currently plies his trade for Ramsgate FC in the Isthmian League South East Division, has attracted the interest of a number of clubs in the Premier League and Football League after catching the eye for Ramsgate.

The 18-year-old enjoyed a trial at Brighton at the end of January and has also attracted strong interest from Wolves and Cardiff, but a source at the club has told Football Insider Palace have moved to offer him a dream move to the Premier League.

Mensah has impressed on trial at Palace in the last couple of weeks and he is set to be offered an 18-month deal at Selhurst Park.

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Palace see Mensah as a potential star in the making and although he is likely to initially link up with the club’s Under-23s they have seen enough in him to think he could make the step up to the first-team in the future.

In other Midlands giants transfer news, the club have made a move to sign a Sheffield Wednesday ace as talks over a deal have begun.