By Staff Writer
The fact that Ivory Coast international Wilfried Zaha wants to leave Crystal Palace is no secret. It no longer sounds like his club will block a move for their star man but with a reported £80m price tag, who will be in the running to sign him?
Tottenham might have made it through to the Europa League on the final weekend of the season – strangely thanks to a draw with Palace – but they’ve been far from firing on all cylinders this season. Simon Jordan, who once owned the Eagles, is now a regular on global sport radio station Talksport where he suggested Zaha and Spurs were a good fit.
Zaha used to be a usual name on the other side of North London, as Arsenal been targeting the Ivorian every transfer window, but with the arrival of Nicolas Pepe he would probably be keen to move to White Hart Lane instead.
We are not sure we can see it. For starters, Jose Mourinho has already admitted that big fees are a no go for his club this window. That’s one huge stumbling block. The other is that Zaha’s position as a versatile front man is perhaps the only place that Mourinho could decide he doesn’t need reinforcement with Giovani Lo Celso, Son Heung Min, Steven Bergwijn, Erik Lamela and Dele Alli all capable of switching roles behind Harry Kane.
Chances of a move: Slim to none
Zaha is just one of several attacking talents linked with a move to Old Trafford – the others being Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho. The player certainly feels he has unfinished business at the club after his move there back in 2013 failed somewhat miserably.
United’s number one target is clearly Dortmund’s Sancho though. He is seen as one of the world’s hottest prospects after an involvement in 72 goals over the last two seasons. Considering the Reds value him at £80m, the odds of Palace getting that much for Zaha are the same of Miami Dolphins topping the SuperBowl NFL Odds 2020: very very unlikely.
That said, Zaha has qualities that Solskjaer likes in his attackers, primarily strength, trickery and pace in abundance. If they can’t get Sancho over the line, then they might turn to Zaha but with an offer south of Palace’s valuation.
Chances of a move: United want Sancho so, unlikely.
The Toffees have had a poor year but with a proven manager now at the helm in Carlo Ancelotti they’ll have their eyes on making huge improvements next season. Everton might have a strong history but they’re not the same attraction as a Spurs or Manchester United.
That means that they might feel more pressure to spend the fee required to land Zaha knowing that proven alternatives are much harder to come by.
They’d also be able to offer Zaha a regular starting spot with the likes of Theo Walcott and Alex Iwobi not hitting the levels expected of them. With players such as Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin around him it might free Zaha up a bit more compared to Palace where he is often double marked as their only real threat.
If that does prove the case, then his output should improve and that will help Everton progress to a higher position with Europa League football the minimum expectation.
Chances of a move: This one has serious legs.
Okay, this is a bit of a wildcard, but the German side do feature in the betting of Zaha’s next club with prices as short as 9/2. As mentioned, Dortmund and Man United are in talks regarding the sale of Sancho and, if a move goes through, that will put a substantial sum of cash in their hands with figures mentioned ranging from £80m to £110m. They’ll also be short of an attacking threat.
Step forward Zaha. He’s reportedly open to a move to the Bundesliga and whilst he doesn’t fit the Dortmund model of signing up and coming talent, he’s also some way off drawing out his pension given he’s just 27-years-old.
The stumbling block to this move will again be the asking price. Regardless of how much Dortmund get for Sancho, they’ll be reluctant to splash the majority on what is, whilst a very good player, ultimately a downgrade. If, however, Palace feel their hands are forced to sell an unhappy player then stranger things have happened.
Chances of a move: Not impossible but don’t count on it.
There you have it, four clubs that Wilfried Zaha could be calling home in the next few months. Who do you believe will snatch Zaha for the upcoming season?