Prior to kickoff during Tuesday evening's fixture against VfL Wolfsburg, Mainz trainer Bo Svensson confirmed to SkyGermany that striker Jean-Phillipe Mateta is in South London for a medical.
Multiple media sources now report the details of an arrangement that hinges on the last formality.
|Jean-Philippe Mateta.||Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0|
Barring a failed medical on Wednesday, relegation-threatened Bundesliga side FSV Mainz 05 will have shipped out their season's top goal scorer in the middle of a fight for survival. Thirteenth place Crystal Palace are the buyers.
Sporting website "The Athletic" reports that a €3 million loan fee for an 18-month-stint has been negotiated. The source also suggests that an obligatory purchase clause in the neighborhood between €14 and €17 million also exists.
"He's currently completing the medical check at Crystal Palace," Svensson told the Sky microphones, "If all goes well, and we assume that it will, the deal will go over the line."
At the beginning of the season, Mateta was one of the high-profile players previous sporting director Rouven Schröder actively tried to shop. Schröder could find no reasonable offers close to the 23-year-old's €12-15 million market value. Eventually deemed essential to the team, the Frenchman scored in the opening round of the season, netted a brace in week five, and scored a hat-trick in week eight.
All told, Mateta scored seven goals in 15 appearances for the Rheinhessen this season. The only other player on the roster to have netted multiple goals for the club is Robin Quaison, who has scored just twice. Mateta twice earned team-of-the week honors at Bulinews.
For reasons unclear, Mateta had recently been dropped from the starting XI. This happened under interim coaches Jan Moritz-Lichte and Jan Siewert prior to Svensson's arrival. The Frenchmen did not feature in either of the starting lineups under Svensson. As of yet, it cannot be confirmed whether there had been a dust up between player and management.
If the loan is confirmed and the purchase clause eventually triggered, Mateta will be the third most expensive sale in Mainz history. Only Abou Dialoo and Jean-Phillipe Gbamin were sold for more.