Crystal Palace race Benfica and Monaco to sign Leicester's Demarai Gray

Ed Aarons and Fabrizio Romano
·1-min read
<span>Photograph: Marc Atkins/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Crystal Palace face competition from Benfica and Monaco to sign Demarai Gray from Leicester for a cut-price fee.

Gray’s contract at the King Power Stadium expires in the summer, with the former England Under-21 forward having played just 18 minutes in the Premier League for Leicester this season.

Related: Men's transfer window January 2021 – all deals from Europe's top five leagues

The 24-year-old was left out of Leicester’s squad for the FA Cup victory against Brentford on Sunday and has been told he can leave this month for around £2m, with Roy Hodgson keen to add to Palace’s attacking options having signed the French striker Jean-Philippe Mateta on an 18-month loan from Mainz.

It is understood Palace have held talks with with Gray’s representatives regarding a move to Selhurst Park and they remain a serious option for the player who joined Leicester from Birmingham for £5m in January 2016.

However, while Gray is believed to have turned down an approach from Bayer Leverkusen, Monaco and Benfica have also expressed their interest in signing him, with the player set to make a decision over his future in the next few days.

Gray is a product of Birmingham’s academy and was part of the Leicester squad that won the Premier League title under Claudio Ranieri. He has made 133 league appearances for the club, although 80 of those have been as a substitute.