PALACE are providing competition to Manchester United in the race to sign exciting Derby County prospect Malcolm Ebiowei.

The 18-year-old impressed at the Rams last season after making his Championship debut, making 16 appearances and scoring one goal, which came in Derby’s win over Blackpool in April.

Ebiowei is expected to leave Pride Park this summer in order to help the club’s financial issues, with Palace, United and even AS Monaco interested in signing him, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.

However, it is believed that the young striker would prefer a switch to the Premier League over a move abroad.

News Shopper: Malcolm Ebiowei scored against Blackpool last seasonMalcolm Ebiowei scored against Blackpool last season

Palace could hold an advantage over the over clubs, after already signing another young Derby striker in January. Luke Plange made the transfer from Pride Park to Selhurst Park on Deadline Day and has been in the club’s development squads since.

Ebiowei has earned high praise from manager Wayne Rooney this season, and the former Manchester United striker has tipped the 18-year-old to have a big future.

After Ebiowei played in a draw against Coventry in March, Rooney said: “I thought he was excellent all game, best player on the pitch.

“It was one of the best performances I have seen from a young player, consistently for 90 minutes, in a long time.

“He deserved that because he has worked extremely hard. His attitude is incredible, he wants to learn and he is an exciting young player.

“First of all, his attitude is very good. He has got an enormous amount of ability, he is brave, he will take the ball, he is not afraid to take players on, to get tackled, to make mistakes. So he has got a really bright future.”

Get all the latest news and views by following our new South London Sport Facebook page