Chelsea transfer boost as rival club chief opens door for exit for touted £80m target

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Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has conceded that he will allow Wilfried Zaha to leave if the offer is right, after speculation of a Chelsea bid in January.

The 26-year-old has enjoyed an excellent spell at Selhurst Park, scoring 35 goals in 184 appearances while establishing himself as a key creative threat for the side.

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In turn, it’s no surprise that Palace wouldn’t want to lose him given his importance to Roy Hodgson, but after keeping him at the club this past summer, Parish is seemingly prepared to open the door to an exit next year, provided a suitable offer is made.

“I’m sure it has a happy ending for everybody,” Parish told the Daily Mail. “That’s what I want to generate and I’m sure we’ll make that happen.

“We have all been young, but the situation was not right for anybody this summer. You think at the time it is, but I would not put a cap on this kid’s talent.

“I feel he deserves to get there, I hope it happens and sometimes it mystifies me he’s not up there already. I don’t know what he’s got to do – run the length of the pitch and beat four players? If people stood in my shoes having to replace him, trying to find someone in world football to do what he does, they would know.

“We are lucky to have him. But if that top club comes along and the money is right, he is an extraordinary talent and it is going to be very difficult for us.”

As noted by The Sun, Arsenal were heavily linked with Zaha this past summer. However, given that they went on to sign Nicolas Pepe to bolster their options in the attacking third, it’s questionable as to whether or not the Gunners would still be keen on spending big on Zaha too.

In turn, with The Sun also noting earlier this month that Chelsea are plotting an £80m bid for Zaha in January if they are able to overturn their current transfer ban, then perhaps Parish’s latest comments will alert those at Stamford Bridge to the situation.

In their report above, the Mail also specifically mention that Everton were pushing hard to get a deal done on transfer deadline day, but ultimately that move didn’t materialise and they swooped for Alex Iwobi.

Chelsea could still face competition for Zaha, but this update will certainly be a boost if they are genuinely keen on prising the Ivorian international away from Palace in 2020, and are in a position to do so as early as January.

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