Wilfried Zaha has always been linked with a move to Arsenal. Admittedly an Arsenal fan, Zaha even told Jamie Carragher’s podcast of how he almost moved from Palace to the Gunners – only they chose Nicolas Pepe instead.
Zaha, 28, is 15 appearances shy of clocking up a whopping 400 in all competitions for Palace – having broken through at Selhurst Park before returning after a brief, disappointing stint at Manchester United.
Discussing a brief conversation he had with Unai Emery when the Spaniard was in charge, Zaha told Carragher earlier this year – as per the Mail – that he and the then-Arsenal manager were keen to get a deal done for Zaha.
“He was like, ‘Yeah we’d love to have you’ and I was just like, ‘Yeah I’d love to come’,” Zaha said. “The conversation was rather straightforward. Obviously, it was up to the club who they chose and they chose Pepe over me.”
However, this summer, Arsenal might have just been handed their best chance yet to get the Ivory Coast international – and that is because of Palace’s interest in one of Arsenal’s players, in Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
The Mail claimed over the weekend that Palace want to sign the England international who is impressing on loan at Crystal Palace. It comes after reports that Maitland-Niles is planning to move on from the Emirates this summer.
The Telegraph say he is rated at £20million but Palace could get him by including him in a player-plus-cash deal for Zaha, a move that would surely suit all parties – with Palace seemingly admitting defeat in their bid to keep him.
Zaha is likely to be worth a lot more than Maitland-Niles, with Palace unwilling to sell him for less than £50million (Evening Standard). But if Maitland-Niles is included, Arsenal could half that asking price this summer.