Crystal Palace are believed to have knocked back a second official bid from Arsenal for winger Wilfried Zaha, just a few days on from the Gunners having their initial bid of £40 million laughed off.
The Eagles have refused to budge from their valuation of £80 million all summer long and don’t look set to be bullied into anything by the side from The Emirates in the coming days but from the north Londoners’ perspective, an offer of more than £50 million with Reiss Nelson thrown in on a season-long loan was looked upon as possibly being good enough for Steve Parish to give them the green light.
As has been the case since the window opened, it’s difficult to envisage Arsenal paying what Palace want to let Zaha leave, given their budget and his perceived value outside of SE25 and whilst that may well frustrate the winger and his numerous representatives, the situation is one in which Palace hold the majority of the cards. With no release clause in his contract and (as of yet) no official transfer request coming from Zaha, those behind the scenes at Selhurst Park feel rather relaxed about the whole thing.
It was always highly unlikely that Steve Parish would willingly sell both Wan-Bissaka and Zaha in the same summer and now, with one already gone, the suggestion that we’d let the player with a bigger profile leave for anything less than our asking price feels fanciful at best. We may well find that things alter dramatically next summer but for now, time is ticking until the deadline and with no first-team transfers having arrived, I highly doubt Steve Parish, Dougie Freedman or Roy Hodgson much fancy the idea of replacing Zaha alongside all of our other planned targets in space of a madcap few days.
It feels like a saga which has been playing out on repeat in each and every window over the last two or three years. Previously, it has ended with Wilfried receiving pay rises; this time it’s likely to conclude in something of a stalemate. How that impacts the wide man’s play in the months to come is up for debate; I personally can’t see it making a tangible difference to his on-field approach but we may well find that next summer, a move away is ironed out quickly, rather than dragged towards the latter stages of the window, making things difficult for all of the various parties.