Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira throws full support behind new £22m signing Cheick Doucoure, 22, after he is the victim of blackmail plot with alleged extortionists threatening to reveal he has a double identity – unless they receive a cut from the deal
- Patrick Vieira has pledged his full support for Cheick Doucoure after Crystal Palace’s newest signing was the victim of a blackmail plot
- The 22-year-old Mali midfielder joined Palace for £22million from Lens last week
- However, middle men involved in the deal are claiming he has a double identity
- The player’s lawyer claims there are threats to leak documents that he has a dual nationality unless they get a cut from the £22m deal
- Doucoure’s camp insist the documents are false and will take legal action against the alleged extortionists
Patrick Vieira has pledged his full support to Cheick Doucoure after Crystal Palace’s new signing was the victim of a blackmail plot.
The Mali midfielder joined Palace for £22million from Lens last week, but Doucoure’s lawyer has alleged that middle men involved in the deal are threatening to leak documents claiming to show that the 22-year-old has a double identity and dual nationality unless they receive a cut from the deal.
Doucoure’s camp insist the documents are false and have promised to take legal action against the alleged extortionists.
Speaking ahead of Palace’s game against Manchester United in Melbourne on Tuesday, Vieira backed his new signing, saying: ‘I spoke to him, I spoke to the lawyer as well. Of course, myself and the club are fully supporting the player.
‘That was a strong statement. This is something that him as a player and us as a football club we don’t accept.’
Palace will face United at the MCG in Melbourne with only 10 senior players after being forced to leave a number of the squad – including Wilfried Zaha, Eberechi Eze, Marc Guehi and Michael Olise – off the trip to Singapore and Australia, some due to their Covid vaccination status.
Patrick Vieira (right) has pledged his full support to Cheick Doucoure (left) after Crystal Palace’s newest signing was the victim of a blackmail plot
Doucoure’s lawyer alleged that middle men involved in his £22m move are threatening to leak documents claiming to show he has a double identity unless they receive a cut from the deal
‘I think it’s not the ideal situation for a manager to have so many players behind,’ added Vieira.
‘We are not going to talk about the private situation of players, if they are vaccinated or not. I think it’s important to understand that there are players who are staying behind for a different reason.
‘We have so many young talents, and to have this kind of experience for them I think it’s something unbelievable for them.
‘We are going to play United in front of 75,000 people and that is an excitement for them.’
Vieira has said claimed only having 10 senior players available for his pre-season tour is ‘not ideal’ after Wilfried Zaha (left) and Michael Olise (right) were among those left behind in the UK
Vieira effectively ruled out the possibility of bringing Conor Gallagher back to Selhurst Park on loan after the Chelsea midfielder’s performances for Palace last season earned him an England call-up.
‘At the moment I don’t think there is any chance because he is a Chelsea player,’ said the Frenchman. ‘He did fantastically well for us and he’s in the pre-season with Chelsea.
‘Honestly, we wish him all the best. I don’t think there is a way to get him back.’
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