New Crystal Palace signing Cheick Doucoure embroiled in blackmail plot

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 (CPFC)
(CPFC)

New Crystal Palace signing Cheick Doucoure is at the centre of a blackmail scandal, following his arrival from Lens.

According to the player’s lawyer, Alexis Rutman, Doucoure has been targeted by a group threatening to expose his “double identity” and demanding cash for their silence.

Rutman claims that both Doucoure and his entourage have been bombarded with WhatsApp messages, including false documents, by a group alleged to consist of “a players’ agent and a photographer, supported by a journalist”.

In a statement, Rutman said the attempts at extortion were “clearly lured by the profits supposedly generated” by Doucoure’s £22million move to Selhurst Park, which was completed last week.

“This situation is very serious and obviously unacceptable,” Rutman said. “My client and his entourage will not yield anything in the face of such actions.

“All appropriate legal actions will therefore be taken, both criminally and civilly, against these three individuals but also against all those who would support, endorse or relay, in any form whatsoever, such actions and/or such slanderous accusations.”

Doucoure is not involved in Palace’s ongoing pre-season tour of Singapore and Australia.

The Eagles are preparing to face Manchester United at the Melbourne Cricket Ground tomorrow and, ahead of that fixture, Patrick Vieira confirmed the club are aware of Doucoure’s situation.

“I spoke to him, I spoke to the lawyer as well,” said Palace boss Vieira. “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.”

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