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Crystal Palace Claim They Had A Deal Agreed For Hector

Michael Hector joined Chelsea on a five-year-deal yesterday but could he have been an Crystal Palace player? Palace's Co-Chairman certainly thinks so.

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

The Michael Hector to Crystal Palace rumours first emerged from The Guardian a couple of weeks ago but things went awfully quiet on that front until deadline day came around.

Then we had a curious case of social media reshuffling that saw Hector delete his long-standing Instagram account and post a tweet from Bromley, not 10 minutes from Palace's training ground. Sky Sports News had also confirmed that Palace were looking to sign an unnamed defender so the jigsaw pieces were certainly coming together.

However, news soon emerged that Hector was subject of an approach from Chelsea and you know what happened next.

Now, Crystal Palace Co-Chairman Steve Parish has confirmed that his side had a deal in place to sign Hector, only to be pipped by Chelsea at the last minute.

Parish told Holmesdale Radio....

"We had a deal for Michael Hector at Reading and that was a done deal. We thought we had that one.

"Unfortunately the might of Chelsea came in and the player chose to go there. But at least we're getting the right targets, aren't we? Our scouting set-up must be doing the right thing.

"You don't win them all. We live to fight another day. I'm sure he'll do very well at Chelsea. We don't hold any grudges. I think he supported them as a kid."

Had Hector ended up with Palace then you'd have to imagine he'd have been kept in their squad for the Premier League season, so Chelsea's interest certainly helped Reading who were able to loan him straight back.

However, you can't help but feel Palace would have been a more reasonable step up for the defender who would almost certainly have seen for more gametime under Alan Pardew than he's likely to see under Jose Mourinho. Still, you might only get the chance to join your boyhood team once so it's easy to understand Big Hec's mindset.

So there you have it folks, Hector was a man in demand but at least we've got him till May.