According to reports from Sky Sports yesterday, Everton are set for talks with Crystal Palace for star forward Wilfried Zaha. The Eagles reportedly want £80million for the 26-year-old.
The Toffees are looking to bring in a forward player after the exit of young winger Ademola Lookman to RB Leipzig for a fee of around £22million.
Zaha handed in a transfer request at the beginning of the summer, as he wanted to move to a club playing Champions League football next season. A switch to Everton is likely to be lucrative, but will not provide European competition, at least not next season.
Arsenal his preference this summer
The most likely move for Zaha this summer seemed to be a switch to Arsenal. The Gunners saw a bid for the Ivorian turned down earlier this summer, as Unai Emery’s outfit were reportedly not prepared to meet Palace’s valuation of Zaha.
The fact that Zaha’s brother has stated that a move to north London is the forward’s dream has now made the situation complicated. The Eagles do not want to sell the forward and Arsenal look unwilling to match their valuation of the player.
The talk of a move to Everton may well just be a ruse by the player’s agent to force Arsenal’s hand.
An unlikely Everton deal
Everton’s director of football Marcel Brands is regarded as a master deal maker in the transfer market, whether be signing or selling players. A big-money move for Zaha for the mooted fee of £80million just does not seem the typical Brands transfer.
The Dutchman usually likes to pick up relatively unknown players or players who have lost their way at other clubs. More often than not those players tend to develop into good players for the team.
His first summer at the club was an example of that with the likes of Bernard, Lucas Digne, Andre Gomes and Richarlison proving his ability to bring in the right players. The latter cost big-money, but he is now worth far more in the transfer market.
With the Toffees attempting to cut the clubs wage bill and costs, a big deal for Zaha seems highly unlikely. In fact, it would be a major surprise if the former Manchester United winger moved to Merseyside this summer. It is hard to say why Zaha would move to Everton, except for a wage rise.
Of course, a move to the Toffees is a step up in standard from Palace. However, Arsenal will be playing in Europe next season and are also London based. The winger reportedly found it hard to settle in the north west during his time at United. However, he was young during his short ill-fated spell at Old Trafford. It still seems more likely the winger will not be plying his trade on Merseyside next season.
Arsenal the favourites to sign Zaha
Despite the reported interest in Zaha from Everton, Arsenal are still the favourites to sign the forward. The forward is odds of 10/11 to be a Gunners player by the end of the summer.
This could be a situation that may drag on and Zaha is not guaranteed to leave Crystal Palace this summer. The most obvious solution seems to be Arsenal to come up with the Eagles asking price. However, at the minute it is questionable if the Gunners have the funds to pull off the transfer.
Everton have just sold Lookman and are about to sell Idrissa Gueye. Therefore, the Merseysider’s will have funds to spend. However, they have more areas of the team that they need to improve this summer.
At the moment, I certainly would not be backing Zaha ending up as an Everton player by the end of the transfer window.
Is Wilfried Zaha a realistic transfer target for Everton?
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