It wouldn’t be a transfer window if there wasn’t a story linking Wilfried Zaha with a move away from Selhurst Park but for once, it feels like the links between the 26-year-old and Borussia Dortmund may actually have some legs.
Originally reported in German sporting newspaper BILD and now picked up by The Guardian’s Ed Aarons, it sounds as though the Bundesliga leaders are keen to secure Zaha’s services in the summer as a direct replacement for Chelsea-bound Christian Pulisic. Whilst it wasn’t said in BILD, The Guardian’s report suggests that the Germans have already made contact with the winger’s representatives about a deal and whilst he is unlikely to kick up a fuss publicly, it is thought that Wilf is intrigued by the potential to participate regularly in the Champions League.
Weighing up the pros and cons of a move such as this is likely to leave any Palace fan feeling rather conflicted but in many ways, Dortmund’s apparent interest in the Eagles’ academy graduate is something of a perfect storm. Whilst it goes without saying that he currently acts as the club’s talisman, it’s become clear that no Premier League club are going to pay the sort of fee Palace would be looking for in order to sell, whilst Dortmund suddenly have cash burning a hole in their pocket.
Steve Parish, understandably given the journey he and Zaha have been on together since he took up ownership of the club in 2010, will want the best for the winger whilst also fretting about the prospect of him coming up against us in years to come; a conundrum solved by his potential move to Germany.
Finally and perhaps most importantly for Zaha on a personal level, a switch to Dortmund would enable him to challenge for titles and European honours in a fanatically supported league without the relentless abuse and scepticism he’s grown accustomed to from opposition fans on these shores. Playing in front of just under 80,000 people every other week and given a further platform to shine, he really could reach his full potential; it’s not necessarily something that Palace fans will want to hear but looking at it from his perspective, it’s a move which could make a great deal of sense, if he’s open to the lifestyle change that moving to a new country represents.
Palace will still demand a huge fee to let him move on, likely to be well in excess of £50 million and in fact probably closer to £60 million but there seems to be a genuine chance of Dortmund breaking with tradition and going big to land him during the summer window.
Watch this space.