According to Sky Sports, Arsenal have launched a bid of around £40million for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha. The 26-year-old revealed earlier this summer he wanted to move on this summer in order to play Champions League football next season.
A move to Arsenal would not give him Champions League football, although it would see him play in the Europa League at least, something he is unlikely to do in the near future with Palace. Zaha is a lifelong Arsenal fan and his brother recently admitted that it would be a dream come true for the winger to play for the team from north London. It would seem a good move for Zaha, but the finances of the deal could scupper a deal.
Palace holding out for a bigger fee
Crystal Palace have already lost highly-rated full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United this summer. The youngster moved for a fee of around £50million last week.
Reports suggested that the Eagles would not sell both their star assets. However, the Sky report claims that Palace will demand a fee of around £80million, double what Arsenal have offered.
The sale of Wan-Bissaka means that the Eagles have no need to sell and boss Roy Hodgson can bring in some fresh recruits this summer. It looks unlikely that they part with Zaha easily that’s for sure.
Arsenal have a relatively small transfer kitty
The powers that be at Arsenal are once again forcing the recruitment team, including boss Unai Emery to shop in the bargain basement this summer. If reports are to be believed, Arsenal have just a £50million transfer budget.
In the current crazy transfer market that gets you very little. The Gunners priority this summer is to strengthen a highly vulnerable defence. Offering £40million for Zaha would take up most of their transfer budget.
The Gunners are desperate to strengthen their squad. However, at the minute, Zaha looks to be an unrealistic transfer target. The Gunners have needed defensive reinforcements for a number of years, but continue to struggle to sign the right players. This offer smacks of the Arsenal hierarchy attempting to appease the fans by saying ‘Look we tried to sign Zaha’. Palace were never going to accept an offer of £40million for their star attacking player.
Palace could struggle next season
Crystal Palace have been involved in the relegation battle for the past few seasons. However, the wily Roy Hodgson has always been able to steer them clear of relegation.
Next season could be very difficult for the Eagles if they lose Zaha as well as Wan-Bissaka. They are currently just outside the favourites for relegation. Selling star player Zaha could see their relegation odds shorten dramatically.
The Eagles have always been a selling club. In recent years, they have been stable both on and off the pitch. However, if they do sell Zaha, then they have to use the money from his, and Wan-Bissaka effectively to strengthen their squad.
If they do not, then they could be in for a long and hard season ahead. At the minute, though, Arsenal seems miles away from signing Zaha, so the winger may remain an Eagles player for a bit longer at least.
Can Arsenal afford Wilfried Zaha this summer?