Crystal Palace’s hopes of keeping reported Arsenal and Chelsea target Wilfried Zaha are said to be ‘fading’ as he nears the end of his contract.
Zaha finds himself in a favourable position at the moment. His contract is due to expire next summer and clubs around Europe are thought to be glancing admiringly at him.
Not only that, his boyhood club are willing to offer him a ‘significant’ pay rise on his current £130,000 per week salary to stay.
It is a pretty nice spot to be in if you are Zaha and it is deserved given how he has performed for Palace over the past few seasons.
He netted 14 times in the Premier League last season and he is on track to surpass that tally this term. He already has five goals in 11 outings in 2022/23.
The Daily Mail are now reporting that he and Palace ‘are not close to an agreement’ over a new contract.
It is said that a ‘bumper renewal’ has been ‘verbally offered’ to Zaha. So his unwillingness to extend right away is increasing Palace’s ‘fears’ that their star player ‘plans to leave’ on a free transfer.
The report adds that the ‘significant pay hike’ offered to Zaha would make him the club’s best-paid player ever if he signed.
Zaha returned to Palace permanently in 2015 following an unsuccessful stint at Manchester United.
In recent seasons he has proven himself to be one of the Premier League’s most dangerous forward-thinking players.
His performances have stepped up since Patrick Vieira took over last year, but it is looking likely that he will move on next year.
Eagles boss Vieira suggested last week that Zaha “has got something really special”.
“I heard a lot of stories about Wilfried, that he was really difficult to work with.
“I can confirm he is really difficult to work with! But, he has got something really special. He is talented and he loves football.
“And I believe that people have the wrong impression of him. He is a winner and he is a positive leader in the team that pushes players to fight and to win.”
The Athletic’s David Ornstein has similar information to The Daily Mail. The respected journalist recently reported that ‘many feel’ that Zaha will ‘go as a free agent’ next summer.
Arsenal and Chelsea targeted Zaha in the summer with a £30m move to one of Palace’s London rivals mentioned.
This did not come to fruition but it is looking increasingly likely that Zaha will finally get himself a big move during the upcoming summer transfer window.
A move to Liverpool in the coming months is also understood to be an option for Zaha
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