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Chelsea Transfer Rumours: Crystal Palace Chasing Jack Cork

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Update Jan 18th: Crystal Palace manager Dougie Freeman is now saying that the club will not be able to sign Jack Cork.

Chelsea's academy is rapidly producing talented young footballers and midfielder Jack Cork is one of the better ones. Cork, who captained England's U-19 side during the 2008 European Championships, is currently playing on a season-long loan for Championship side Burnley, and has been impressive enough with the clarets to attract a lot of attention from other suitors. Crystal Palace, who are attempting to draft in talent in order to stave off the threat of relegation under new manager Dougie Freedman, are the latest team to bid on Cork, according to the South London Press. Although the size of the bid is unknown, I'm going to try to make a few semi-educated guesses here...

Palace are making an offer for a permanent transfer rather than an improved load deal, otherwise there'd be no point in interrupting Cork's current loan. The bid will be for around £2-3M - Burnley were said to be considering a £2M bid to keep Cork as recently as this December, and his performances have been good enough lately to boost his stock rather than hurt it.

Without having seen Cork play much I can't really make a good judgment here. He's a very highly regarded midfield talent, but he's also 21 and hasn't come particularly close to breaking into the first team, so it's not as though he's a mega-star in the making. However, he's versatile enough to play all over the midfield and defence, so he might turn into a very useful (and home grown) utility player if he doesn't develop enough to start in a midfield that may be dominated by John Obi Mikel, Ramires, and Josh McEachran in the near-mid term future. Cork is good enough that I'd hate to let him go, and I simply do not see the point in selling him now - he's getting plenty of playing time and by most accounts progressing quite nicely. Apart from a few million, what's in this for Chelsea or the player?