Chelsea are now the front-runners to clinch the signing of former Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha, with rivals Tottenham priced out of a move.
According to reports from Daily Mirror, Chelsea are now in pole position to land Crystal Palace superstar Wilfried Zaha, after Tottenham Hotspur decided to pull out of the race for the Ivory Coast international.
The 25-year-old Zaha had been a target for both the London clubs heading into the final week of the summer transfer window. Chelsea reportedly even had an offer of £30 million plus Danny Drinkwater turned down by Palace, following which Spurs were hoping to make a better offer and sign him from under the Blues’ noses.
But, with Palace demanding a steep fee of £75 million for their prized asset, the North Londoners are believed to have called off their pursuit of the winger, leaving Chelsea as the clear favourites to sign him.
The Blues are understood to be in the market for a new wide player, with star man Eden Hazard’s future at the club clouded by uncertainty. The Belgian wing wizard has been a long-term target for European champions Real Madrid and had expressed his desire to secure a move to Spain post his exploits in the summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Following the shock departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus, Los Blancos have been on the lookout for a replacement, but are yet to make a concrete approach to try and sign the Chelsea superstar. To add to it, Brazilian winger Willian is also a subject of interest for Manchester United, which has further increased Chelsea’s need to strengthen in the wide areas.
Chelsea have also been linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund starlet Christian Pulisic over the past few weeks, while a move for Manchester United’s Anthony Martial has also been mooted. However, Zaha seems to be the most realistic option for the Blues and now with Tottenham pulling out of the reckoning, Maurizio Sarri’s men have a real shot at closing the deal for the 25-year-old.
Zaha was Palace’s star player in the 2017-18 season, as he played a pivotal part in helping Roy Hodgson’s men survive the Premier League relegation battle. The former Manchester United attacker finished the previous campaign with nine goals and five assists from 29 league appearances and has been in fine nick during the Eagles’ pre-season campaign.
The Ivory Coast international, who had signed a new signed a £100,000-a-week deal with Palace last summer, has rejected the Eagles’ offer of a new contract which would have boosted his earnings by another £25,000-a-week.
Chelsea have made just two signings so far this summer, bringing in midfielder Jorginho from Napoli, which was followed by the acquisition of veteran goalkeeper Robert Green.
The West Londoners succumbed to a 2-0 defeat in the FA Community Shield match against Manchester City, highlighting the fact that Sarri has plenty of work to be done to take the team back to the top of the pile. And signing Zaha, before Thursday’s transfer deadline day, could prove to be a step in that direction for the Blues.