EXCLUSIVE: AFC will not rush French’s Premier League move

NO HURRY: AFC Sudbury will not be rushed into selling Tyler French to Crystal Palace. Picture: Clive Pearson
NO HURRY: AFC Sudbury will not be rushed into selling Tyler French to Crystal Palace. Picture: Clive Pearson

The Premier League came calling for AFC Sudbury’s Tyler French this week — but the club’s hierarchy have said they will not rush negotiations as they ensure they look to get the right deal for their academy’s shining star.

With the clock ticking down on transfer deadline day on Tuesday — the last time English clubs can sign players already contracted to other clubs until the summer window opens in July — Premier League Crystal Palace made their move to secure French’s signature, and undoubted potential.

But as the Free Press exclusively revealed on our website yesterday, no deal was concluded before 11pm, with director Richard Instance confident the calm approach at the negotiating table was for the best.

“We did not get anything concluded last night (Tuesday) but there are on-going discussions,” he said.

“We sat down and had a very long meeting (with Crystal Palace officials) and in some ways, as much as everyone wanted it to happen, it is just as important to take a bit of time, as we want it to be the right deal for Tyler and the club.”

It comes after The Eagles swooped in for the former Long Melford youth player from under the noses of Ipswich Town — who had been assessing whether to table a bid for the versatile defender over a three-month period, where he trained with them each week while continuing to play in AFC’s first team.

French, who impressed Palace officials in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Tuesday where he was played at both right-back — where he has been playing for AFC — and his more natural position of centre-back.

But with Jamie Godbold’s Yellows facing a crunch Ryman League Premier Division game at 18th place Burgess Hill Town on Saturday (3pm) with both sides within three points of the bottom four relegation spots, Instance is confident French’s head will be fixed firmly on the job in hand.

“The thing that really impresses everyone with Tyler — other than his football ability — is that he is just such a level-headed boy,” said Instance.

“You could understand if he was upset about the deal not yet being done, but he is very philosophical about it and understands where things are at.”