By Will Butcher
Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has confirmed that he is interested in signing Mathieu Flamini on a free transfer.
The 32-year-old is a free agent following his release from Arsenal earlier in the summer, and has been high on the shortlist of Leeds, Olympiakos, Torino and Roma.
Speaking to local reporters, as quoted by Sky Sports, the former Newcastle boss has revealed that he has met with France international Flamini on multiple occasions, as well as declaring his interest in the former AC Milan star.
“Yes, there is scope to bring in one more into the squad – I did that on purpose as I thought there might be a player we can take who is not under contract, who might just fit what we’re doing,” Pardew said.
“Mathieu is a player I am looking at, yes. He would give us a bit more experience to winning games. I have always admired what he’s done, so I am looking at him.
“I like the fact whenever he played, he played in the big, big games at Arsenal when they needed someone to kind of lead the team over the line and get big results.
“Mathieu’s name was always on that list. I have always admired what he’s done, so I am looking at him.
“His age, 32, in my mind I signed Teddy Sheringham when he was 38, so the age isn’t a problem for me. I think his experience is something I am looking at, yes.
“We’ve had a couple of meetings with Mathieu. To talk about what he would do here and how he would feel about competing with our midfielders.”
The former Marseille man signed for The Gunners in 2004, before joining AC Milan four years later. After five years in Italy, the French international rejoined Arsene Wenger’s side in 2013 for a second spell.
In total, Flamini spent seven years at Arsenal and made 242 first-team appearances.
Manager Alan Pardew is keen on signing a central midfielder after allowing Mile Jedinak to join Aston Villa.
The Eagles missed out on Everton’s James McCarthy during the latter stages of the window, and have been forced to look to the free agent market following the close of the transfer window.