Manchester United have been trying to strike a deal with Crystal Palace for academy graduate Aaron Wan-Bissaka over the last two or three weeks and after hitting something of a brick wall, it seems the Reds are ready to try a slightly different approach.
Ever since negotiations began over the 21-year-old’s future, Palace chairman Steve Parish has been adamant that offers of £40-50 million alone would not be good enough to tempt us into a sale and after testing the water with different performance related add-ons it now sounds as though Ed Woodward has struck upon a clause which may well encourage Palace to give in and wave United through.
When agreeing to sell Wilfried Zaha back to the Eagles following his torrid stint at the Theatre of Dreams back in 2015, United insisted on a sell-on clause of somewhere close to 15% being inserted into the agreement. At the time, Palace saw no reason why they would let the fan-favourite leave for a second time but in the four years that have followed, the winger has established as one of, if not the most highly-rated player outside of the Premier League’s established “top six” clubs.
With that in mind, Zaha is supposedly keen to explore the option of a move away from Palace but is somewhat hamstrung by the impact his departure would have on the side he’d be leaving behind. Palace’s hierarchy would not want to hold Wilfried back from achieving all that he can within the game but alongside that, there is a pragmatism which rightly dictates that we must be properly compensated for his exit. It’s not something that’s widely discussed across the national press but that sell-on clause has acted as an elephant in the room in both of the last two summer windows, so it stands to reason that any suggestion of it being scrapped by Manchester United would be given airtime by those on Palace’s side of the negotiating table.
Will we see Wan-Bissaka move on with Zaha’s clause becoming an integral part of the deal? I don’t think it’s outlandish to suggest that it pushes the chances of an agreement higher than at any point previously.