With little over 48 hours to go in the summer transfer window, you could be forgiven for thinking that the transfer rumour-mill is about to go into overdrive but thanks to The Telegraph’s Sam Wallace, Palace fans have been reassured that star man Wilfried Zaha won’t be leaving the club under any circumstances before the deadline.
Since last season ended back in May, journalists across the country have linked the 25-year-old with moves to the likes of Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool, despite Roy Hodgson and Palace chairman Steve Parish continually stating that they had no intention of selling the academy graduate. Of course, had an astronomical bid of £70 million or more come in for him, we may have been forced to think again but predictably, no such offer has materialised as of yet.
The key difference now to say two or three weeks ago, is the time-related difficulties the Palace hierarchy would face is suitably replacing a player of Zaha’s importance before the market closes for business. With that in mind, it sounds as though no bid, whether it be £70 million or £100 million would tempt us into giving the move the green light; news that is sure to put a huge smile on the faces of Palace fans everywhere.
In reality, Zaha himself was always highly unlikely to force a move away from the club where he has shone so brightly since 2010, regardless of how he would have approached negotiations with another organisation, were a bid to have been accepted. As things stand, the Ivorian still has four years left to run on his current deal and will play a pivotal role in Roy Hodgson’s side throughout the 2018/19 season.
The realist in me knows that, unless we somehow manage to make our way into a European place by next May, Zaha is likely to move on but at the right price I wouldn’t begrudge him another big move in the slightest. Deals such as that need to be handled in the correct manner for all parties, giving Wilfried himself room to settle whilst also allowing us the time and space to adequately search the market for players capable of filling the gigantic hole his departure would leave in our squad.
I can’t help feeling as though Wilf is going to have the best season of his career to date; god only knows what sort of fee we’ll be looking for next summer if he does.