Thanks to a single report in The Sun over the weekend, the English sporting press have been sent into a frenzy over the future of Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, who has “reportedly” turned down a contract extension at Selhurst Park.
The 25-year-old signed a five-year deal with the Eagles last summer which was believed to worth in excess of £100,000 a week. Now, one notably vague piece in The Sun has got Palace fans fretting about the winger’s happiness in SE25 but I for one am not too worried just yet.
Whilst it’s often rightly said that there is no smoke without fire in relation to stories such as this, I would argue that Zaha turning down an extension on a deal which still has four years left to run on it is likely to be about financial details rather than a desperation to fly the nest.
If you think about this in simple terms, no player in their right mind is going to sign a further extension to an existing deal on close to the same money when their stock has risen as much as Zaha’s has in the last 12 months, it would be shoddy negotiating on his part, regardless of the love he obviously has for the club.
There clearly is no release clause in his current contract, that’s been demonstrated by Palace’s demands for £70 million from anyone who is even considering a bid and the man himself has never given a public indication that he’s keen to leave Selhurst, giving me a degree of comfort despite the avalanche of articles that have appeared throughout the sporting press over the last 48 hours.
The Sun’s piece mentions the fact that Palace are set to return with an even more lucrative offer to keep Wilfried sweet, with a figure of more than £130,000 apparently being prepared as a weekly pay packet. I could be wrong but I highly doubt that any of his potential suitors are willing to offer him more than that. It’s an astronomical amount of money for a club like ours to be paying a player but with Cabaye having left, I’m not sure many Palace fans would be against it if it meant Zaha staying.
Whilst I’m not blinkered enough to ignore the article completely, I do think the situation is far more nuanced than our star man rejecting a contract and wanting out of the club this summer. We shall wait and see how this one develops.