Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha has been the subject of one of the most talked-about transfer stories this summer.
The 26-year-old is keen on leaving Palace this summer as he aspires to play for a European side. And there is no dearth of suitors for his services. He even has had bids from multiple clubs such as Arsenal and Everton turned down by the Eagles. However, with less than ten days left in the transfer window, Zaha is still at Crystal Palace and it seems like he will be donning the Palace jersey, at least until January.
Zaha’s exit plans failing to materialize
Zaha has been a vital player for the Eagles for the last few years and his exploits haven’t gone unnoticed. Last season, he scored ten goals and provided five assists in the Premier League, and in a better side, these numbers can only get better.
Hence, it was not a surprise when Arsenal registered their interest in the Ivory Coast international. It was also suggested that Zaha desperately wants to join Arsenal this summer. However, Arsenal’s initial bid of £40m was deemed too low by the Palace board, who value their player at £80m.
The Palace board also wanted most of the cash up front which forced the Gunners to look at other options. The North London side are now close to signing Nicholas Pepe from Lille in a £72m deal. There is not much difference between the transfer fees of two players, but Lille have afforded the Gunners the luxury to pay the fee in multiple instalments. This structure suits Arsenal as they have a limited transfer kitty this summer.
Everton also showed interest in Zaha, but even their initial bid of £55m was turned down by Palace. Since then, the Toffees have turned their focus elsewhere too, and they are close to completing a deal £37m deal with Juventus for Moise Kean.
As things stand, Zaha is not close to an exit from Palace, and his dream of playing European football might have to wait.
Zaha signed a long-term deal with Palace last summer to become their highest-paid player, and hence the board would expect him to respect his contract if he fails to secure an exit. However, the Palace board has taken a risk of upsetting their most prized asset by maintaining a firm stance on their valuation.
What lies ahead?
There is not much time left in the English transfer window, and it appears that Zaha might need to engineer a move if he wishes to leave Palace.
Latest reports suggest that Serie A club Napoli have made an offer worth £54.6 for the player. Furthermore, there are murmurs that the Gunners still retain an interest in Zaha.
Hence, Zaha’s exit from Palace is still not beyond the realms of possibility, but it doesn’t look like any club would be willing to match his current valuation.
Now, it remains to be seen whether Palace would agree to take a financial hit to allow their star player to leave on a cordial note.