Wilfried Zaha has told Crystal Palace about his desire to leave amid Arsenal’s interest, although the Gunners still need to meet his valuation.
Ever since last season ended, Arsenal have reacted rather slowly to get their priority targets. The pursuit of their top target Wilfried Zaha has turned into a long drawn saga. Neither side have been able to come to a conclusion regarding a transfer. According to The Sun, Zaha has now asked the club to be allowed to leave amid Arsenal’s interest.
Zaha was participating in the African Cup of Nations, representing Ivory Coast, where they suffered disappointment. However, since his return to England, Zaha has told Crystal Palace palace about his desire to leave imminently and has somewhat urged his club to accept Arsenal’s offer.
Arsenal have not come close to making a bid that his close to Palace’ valuation of Zaha. Their most recent bid of £40 million was quickly rejected by Palace, citing they were looking for more than double that amount. Arsenal, due to their restricted finances for this window have been unable to lodge a bid beyond the £40 million mark.
The Gunners are trying to structure a deal by allowing three players as part of the agreement for Zaha. The likes of Calum Chambers, Carl Jenkinson and Mohamed Elneny were thought to be part of that deal. Palace, however, are bent on getting a reasonable price for their prized asset.
Zaha believes the time is right for him to have another go at a big club. He is thankful towards Crystal Palace for bringing him back to the club after two disastrous years at Manchester United. Now he feels, he is in the right frame to challenge at a top club and prefers a move to Arsenal as he has been a boyhood fan of the Gunners.
Palace manager Roy Hodgson had his say on the situation. His words indicate Palace are resigned to losing Zaha in the current window, although he reiterated that Arsenal needs to match his valuation to make this transfer happen.
He said, “I don’t think Arsenal have actually made a bid that has come anywhere near our valuation. I’m sure the player realises that if someone’s going to take him away from us, he’ll expect clubs to pay the market value. Until someone does that, there’s not much to discuss regarding Wilf.”
Due to Palace’s high asking price Arsenal had been looking for alternatives to Zaha. The likes of Nicolas Pepe had been mentioned before. Arsenal reportedly made a £72 million bid for the Lille star. Other than that, Gremio’s Everton’s Soares is said to be close to joining Arsenal. However, the talk on neither transfers has blossomed since.
That said, it iss believed that Arsenal are still very much on the trails of Zaha. Emery will be hoping the club make a substantial offer to close the deal as soon as possible. Zaha would definitely be an excellent addition to this Arsenal side, who somewhat lack flair and brilliance from the wings.