Sky Sports: Arsenal able to pay £70m as Gunners prepare fresh offer for 26y/o star
Arsenal are able to spend up to £70m on Wilfried Zaha as the Gunners get ready to test Crystal Palace’s resolve with an improved offer for the attacker
Managers are working hard trying to strengthen their squads during the summer transfer window so we’ll bring you all the latest news and gossip from around the globe. Here, the latest on Arsenal’s pursuit of Wilfried Zaha….
Arsenal are able to spend up to £70m on Wilfried Zaha as the Gunners get ready to test Crystal Palace’s resolve with an improved offer for the attacker, according to Sky Sports.
Unai Emery is desperate to strengthen his options in attack this summer as we lack any genuine wingers in the squad and Zaha has been identified as the bosses primary transfer target.
It’s been widely reported that Arsenal saw an opening £40m offer rejected out of hand by Palace earlier this week with the Eagles valuing the 26-year-old at £80m. Given their valuation is double what we offered, many thought a deal was highly unlikely as many media outlets have claimed Emery only around £45m to spend this summer.
However, Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol has claimed Arsenal’s lack of budget is a smokescreen being used by the club to try and drive prices down during negotiations.
Solhekol says Arsenal are expected to table an improved second offer for Zaha over the coming days but says we have up to £70m available to spend on the Ivory Coast international.
He told Sky Sports:
“We know that Arsenal have made a bid of £40m and we know that Crystal Palace are not going to sell him for that kind of money. They are looking for at least double that if they decide to let him go.”
“People are expecting Arsenal to come in with another bid, and we have spoken to people involved in the negotiations and an improved bid has not been made yet. There is every expectation that Arsenal will make that improved bid.
“Interestingly, we have read that Arsenal’s transfer budget this summer, because they have missed out on the Champions League, is just £45m, plus what they can raise from selling players.
“We have kept reading that, £45m. People are thinking ‘why are Arsenal trying to sign a player who Crystal Palace are saying is worth £80m, when they only have £45m?’
“What I have been told is that it suits Arsenal that people think they only have £45m, because when they get into negotiations over a player, the selling club is going to think Arsenal don’t have much money.
“What I have been told is that this is a bit of a smokescreen and Arsenal can go up to £70m to buy Wilfried Zaha. £70m is the point at which they would walk away. A deal that would be worth £70m in total.
“We just have to take it with a pinch of salt that Arsenal only have £45m. They are one of the biggest clubs in the world. We are not talking about £300m for Neymar, this is £70m in total. I think Arsenal can do that.”
It remains to be seen if Solhekol’s claims prove accurate but I’m sure Arsenal won’t be too impressed by this ‘leak’ as it will weaken their negotiating position with Crystal Palace.
No doubt Arsenal chiefs will still try to drive a hard bargain as we’re the only top club interested in signing Zaha this summer and the player’s brother has gone public to confirm the winger is desperate to join his boyhood club.
Judicael Zaha told Sky Sports earlier this week:
“Wilfried will always hold Crystal Palace and their fans in the highest regard and all the support they have given means the world to him. It’s my brother’s dream though, to play for Arsenal.
“Given all that Wilfried has given to Crystal Palace to help them remain a Premier League club, I hope Palace will be able to see their way to agreeing a deal with Arsenal that allows Wilfried to realise his dream of playing European football for the club he’s supported since childhood.”
If Palace continue to dig their heels in and demand £80m, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Zaha hand in a transfer request and that should bring the price down as they won’t want to keep hold of an unhappy player.
READ –> Arsenal transfer news
Zaha would be an exciting signing for Arsenal if we can pull it off as he’s exactly the type of player we’ve missed in recent seasons. He’s a pacey, direct winger who’s a goal threat so I’d love to see him arrive at the Emirates this summer.
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