The Eagle has flown
NATHANIEL CLYNE has joined Premier League new boys Southampton on a four-year deal.
The 21-year-old, out of contract at Palace, has been linked with a host of clubs during the off season, but has agreed personal terms with the Saints.
"I'm overwhelmed, really," Clyne said.
"As soon as I heard that Southampton were in for me, I was happy and I knew that this was the place where I could try to improve my football, further my career and get a chance to play in the Barclays Premier League.
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"It's a club with a lot of ambition – the gaffer told me that they would want to be pushing for European football.
"We've got good players here – a young bunch of good, talented players who are destined for the top, so I don't see why we can't do it."
Because the talented right-back is under the age of 24, Palace are entitled to compensation for him, but boss Dougie Freedman doesn't expect the transfer to go to a tribunal.
"I don't think either team want to go to a tribunal, so the two chairmen are sitting down and thrashing out a deal," he said.
"Nathaniel looks like he'll be a Southampton player.
"If they cut the right deal, I'm sure he'll be their player. If they don't, they won't be, it's as simple as that.
"I don't really get involved (with the financial side), I'm the coach, but when it comes to money, I let the owners deal with that when they sell a player.
"We've got a budget when it comes to wages, but when it comes to buying and selling players, I don't get too involved with it."
Clyne, a product of the Palace youth system, made his first team debut in the 3-0 win against Barnsley in October 2008 and quickly became a fans' favourite.
He was named the Football League player of the year in 2010 and in 2011 won the Eagles' player of the year award. In all he made 123 appearances in a Palace shirt, scoring just the one goal.
The player has taken to social networking website, Twitter, to express his gratitude to Palace.
He said: "First and full most [sic], I would like to say a big thank you to the palace fans, for all your support since I've been here.
"Its a great club and I've enjoyed every minute, but now I look forward to a new challenge."