Liverpool have been told they could beat Arsenal to the transfer of Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha this summer.
According to Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol, Palace would prefer selling the 26-year-old to the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona or PSG.
Zaha was one of Crystal Palace’s finest players last season, scoring 10 goals and providing as many assists, leading to reports from the Independent and others that claim the Gunners have made approaches to sign him.
Sky Sports reporter Solhekol feels that Crystal Palace would be more open to selling Zaha to bigger clubs rather than sell him to Arsenal who aren’t even playing in the Champions League.
He told Transfer Talk podcast: “Wilfried Zaha is Unai Emery’s No 1 target ever since Emery watched him play for Palace at the Emirates Stadium when Arsenal lost 3-2 to Palace in April. We’ve been told that Emery is desperate to sign him.
“But of course it all comes down to making an offer that Crystal Palace are going to accept. I don’t think Crystal Palace are under any pressure to sell him. They are being very, very firm.
“They are saying ‘look, he’s our player, we would understand if he wanted to leave to go and play for a Champions League club, but Arsenal are not a Champions League club’. They wouldn’t stand in his way if Barcelona or Real Madrid or PSG or Manchester City or Liverpool were trying to sign him. But when it comes to Arsenal, they don’t feel that the attraction there is as much as it would be at a club that was in the Champions League.”
There does seem a decent chance that Zaha will leave Selhurst Park this summer and provided Arsenal do manage to sign him, there is no doubt that the Gunners’ chances of reaching the Champions League will increase.
The Ivory Coast international would be a considerable upgrade on the likes of Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but it remains to be seen if they are in a strong enough position to get this done.
While Solhekol mentions the likes of Liverpool and Man City as alternative destinations, there does not appear to be any strong interest from either of these clubs.
However, there’s an argument for saying Liverpool in particular could do with a little more depth and rotation options up front, while they’ve been strongly linked with a similar player in Nicolas Pepe.
The Reds may also be in a better position to afford such a signing, while it makes sense that Palace would view Anfield as more of a step up for Zaha than the Emirates Stadium.