Reported Arsenal target Wilfried Zaha may have to rely on Crystal Palace listening to offers of a loan with an obligation to buy at the end of next season if he is to move this summer, according to The Telegraph.
A report in The Sun from earlier this month claimed that Mikel Arteta’s Gunners are in the race for Zaha along with former club Manchester United, while The Mirror claimed that Everton are keen on the attacker.
Zaha came through the ranks at Palace and has spent most of his career with the Eagles either permanently or, while he was on Manchester United’s books, on loan at Selhurst Park.
To date, the Ivory Coast international has made 362 competitive appearances for Palace, scoring 57 goals and claiming 70 assists.
However, speculation about the 27-year-old’s future has never been far away – in April last year, he told the Daily Mail that he is eager to test himself in the Champions League and start regularly challenging for trophies for club and country.
This summer could prove difficult for clubs to make big-money moves, given the impact of the global health crisis on the football industry, so The Telegraph speculates that Zaha’s hopes may rest on a loan-to-buy switch.
While clubs like Palace would want full value for their assets, they would get a loan fee followed by the guarantee of the transfer fee in 10 months’ time, suggested the outlet.
Zaha is one of the Premier League’s standout talents, putting his spell at Manchester United firmly behind him to get back on track and wreak havoc on opposition defences time and time again.
Now 27, he’s very much in the prime of his career and deserves a big move to a club set to challenge for trophies, and while it’s been a painful and transitionary season for Arsenal, the future looks bright under Mikel Arteta.
Zaha and Arsenal look like a great match, and the Spaniard certainly rates the Palace ace highly, telling The Express back in January: “I think he’s a terrific player and I think the impact he’s had in the Premier League in the last few years has been phenomenal.
“His ability to create chances on his own is unique. We know Wilf and the type of talent he is. When he gets isolated in one-on-one situations, we know what he can do.”
However, it ultimately rests on Palace – will they agree to a loan-to-buy switch? At this stage, it may seem like a better option than keeping a player who’s hoping for a move elsewhere.