Both Everton and Borussia Dortmund have been heavily linked with moves for Crystal Palace man Wilfried Zaha over the last week or so but according to a piece in The Evening Standard, the Eagles board are refusing to even contemplate letting their star man leave.
At the start of the summer, a figure of £70 million was put forward by Palace chairman Steve Parish as the sort of fee he would be expecting to see from any of Zaha’s many suitors if they were serious about taking him off our hands. Fans across the country have laughed at the valuation since but from our club’s perspective, it was a demand put in place to fend people off rather than entice them in.
You often hear pundits saying that “every player has their price” and whilst that’s broadly true, the fee we’d be looking to receive in exchange for letting Zaha leave is likely to be far more than anyone is willing to spend. When you consider his importance to our tactical set-up from week to week, it’s not an exaggeration to suggest that his presence was the key to our Premier League survival last term; an achievement which netted us well in excess of £70 million at the end of the campaign.
To be fair to Wilfried, he has never once agitated for a move, meaning that the delay in him putting pen to paper on a contract extension is likely to be more about the financial incentive for doing so rather than a desperation to leave for pastures new. Yes, he’s already earning a large weekly wage but with his stock having risen since agreeing to a five-year deal in 2017, it’s only right for him to ask for more with Palace back at the negotiating table.
Clubs like Everton and Dortmund were bound to try their luck this summer when rumours of a potential contract niggle first broke but as things stand, I would still expect the 25-year-old to agree fresh terms before too long. He’s always played his best football in red and blue, a fact that he knows better than anyone. Hopefully, this now annual saga hasn’t got too long left to run for both our sake and his.