Crystal Palace have been left incensed by Arsenal’s
approach to sign Ivory Coast winger Wilfried Zaha.
The Gunners have offered £40m, which will not even be considered.
Palace value Zaha at around £80m and are furious with Arsenal for what they believe to be a ham-fisted attempt to destabilise the Ivorian and secure a cut-price deal.
They would expect a drastically higher fee than the £50m Manchester United paid them for Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Wan-Bissaka is a 21-year-old right-back with limited experience and no international caps; Zaha is a 26-year-old winger with vast experience and a full international.
Zaha signed a new five-year contract last summer, which recognised his importance to the team and club by making him by far the highest-paid player in Palace history.
Given the player had been keen to leave at that point, the agreement was reached on the basis that the Eagles had not received any credible offers and the understanding that if the situation changed in the future they would let him leave.
Palace’s stance on that has not altered – they will reluctantly sanction Zaha’s departure if the price is right, but they do not view Arsenal’s bid as credible.
A key issue for Palace is the sell-on clause inserted into Zaha’s contract when he returned to south London from Manchester United for around £6m in 2015, which entitles the Red Devils to 25% of any profit if Zaha exits Selhurst Park.
Although Zaha’s brother has publicly pleaded with Palace to reach an agreement with Arsenal, in order for the winger to “realise his dream of playing European football for the club he has supported since childhood” – the Eagles are unmoved.
Palace believe Arsenal’s method in this case is outdated and naive.
They have no intention of lowering their valuation and are confident that Zaha’s relationship with the club is long-standing and strong enough to ensure he resumes his duties without a problem if a move does not come to fruition.