Crystal Palace’s fight to keep hold of Wilfried Zaha has begun with the Eagles rejecting an offer from Bayern Munich, according to reports.
Zaha’s future has been a topic of discussion for a long time with the Ivorian winger handing in a transfer request in the summer amid links to Arsenal and Everton.
As the summer transfer window neared its end, Zaha looked set for a move to Everton but nothing materialised, leading the Toffees to sign Alex Iwobi and keeping the 27-year-old in London for the foreseeable future.
Will Zaha leave Crystal Palace in January? Five things to know…
- Zaha handed in a transfer request in order to leave Palace in the summer, amid links to Arsenal and Everton.
- But the Ivorian remained at Selhurst Park after a move to Everton failed to materialise.
- He is once again being linked with a move away and Chelsea are among the favourites for his signature.
- However, Bayern Munich are reportedly also interested and have seen a loan deal with an option to buy rejected by Palace.
- Wilfried Zaha is 2/1* to join Chelsea before 1st February 2020.
*Odds by William Hill. 18+ only. For more information, go to BeGambleAware.org.
But with the January transfer window open, Zaha is once again being linked with a move away from Crystal Palace as he hopes to test himself in the Champions League after previously struggling at Manchester United in a two-year spell.
As usual, the Ivorian is proving himself tough to stop in the Premier League this season, completing 107 take-ons at an average of 5.28 per 90 minutes. Only Adama Traore (110) has completed more in the Premier League in 2019/20 as the fight to replace Eden Hazard as the division’s best dribbler continues.
As well as trying to replace Hazard as the league’s dribbling king, Zaha is also being linked with filling the hole left by the Belgian at Chelsea upon his departure to Real Madrid in the summer.
Chelsea’s chances of signing Zaha were seemingly boosted by the Ivorian changing his agent to Pini Zahavi, reportedly a close friend of Roman Abramovich.
But, according to the Evening Standard, Chelsea face tough opposition from Bayern Munich who have seen an offer for Zaha rejected. The German side, who face Chelsea in the last-16 of the Champions League, were reportedly looking to sign Zaha initially on loan this month with an option to sign him permanently in the summer.
Despite signing Ivan Perisic on loan in the summer, Bayern remain keen to sign a winger after seeing their moves for Premier League talents Callum Hudson-Odoi and Leroy Sane fall through.
Bayern were very vocal in their interest of Hudson-Odoi last January, which led the disgruntled teenager reportedly handing in a transfer request — unhappy with his lack of playing time at Chelsea. But Chelsea held firm and eventually signed Hudson-Odoi to a new five-year deal at the start of the 2019/20 campaign.
Meanwhile, Bayern’s interest in Sane was halted by the German winger suffering a serious knee injury in Manchester City’s Community Shield win over Liverpool, ruling him out until 2020. Sane continues to be linked to Bayern but with the German still out injured, Bayern may have identified Zaha as a potential alternative.
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However, Crystal Palace turned the loan offer down as they continue to hold out for their valuation of £80m for a player so important to the club who also has three years remaining on his current contract.
It comes after Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson made it clear he would not need any assurances about Zaha because the winger is not for sale.
“Wilfried Zaha is not for sale so I don’t need any assurances (from the board),” he said.
“We are not trying to sell Wilfried Zaha. We want to keep Wilfried Zaha.
“But what assurances can people give? I suppose I have the assurance there is no one at the club anxious to sell Wilfried Zaha.
“Of course, you never know where bids are going to come from and I suppose every time there is a serious bid for one of your players, the board of directors need to take it seriously.”