Julian Speroni set to retain Crystal Palace starting berth despite imminent arrival of Brazilian goalkeeper Perri

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Crystal Palace are set to sign Brazilian goalkeeper Lucas Perri this week – but Julian Speroni is expected to retain his starting berth for Sunday’s FA Cup game against Tottenham Hotspur.

The Eagles are short on shotstopping options with Vicente Guaita probably ruled out for another two weeks with a calf injury while Wayne Hennessey has a thigh problem.

Perri, 21, is due to pen a deal in the next couple of days in a loan switch from Sao Paulo.

But the youngster looks unlikely to be deprived of a dream debut in the fourth round tie at home to Spurs.

It still seems that Palace boss Roy Hodgson will opt for the experience of fans’ favourite Speroni, 39, even though he made a critical mistake for Liverpool’s third goal in Saturday’s 4-3 loss on Merseyside.
Perri has yet to make a senior appearance for Sao Paulo but was spotted by the Eagles’ sporting director Dougie Freedman.

Hodgson said: “It’s a young goalkeeper that when Dougie Freedman was doing some scouting work in South America he came across this goalkeeper and liked the look of him.

“There was talk then of him maybe coming out here and spending some time with us, initially on loan so we could have a look at him and strangely enough it’s taken this amount of time to bring that about.

“It’s quite a coincidence in a way that it’s coincided with the injuries to the two goalkeepers. The two events are in no way aligned other than it’s taken some time to get the loan deal with his club in South America sorted out and we are hopeful now that we can bring him here.”

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