Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha is set to leave the club on a free transfer in the summer, with Arsenal and Chelsea among the clubs interested in signing him. The 30-year-old has spent most of his career with Palace, making 450 appearances for the club and becoming a legend at Selhurst Park. However, his contract expires in the summer and no new deal has been agreed, making a move away from the club likely.
According to TalkSPORT, there will be no shortage of interested parties in Zaha, with clubs from across Europe keen on his signature, especially as there will be no transfer fee. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is said to be a fan of Zaha, while Chelsea have also shown an interest in him in the past and could revisit a move.
Other Premier League clubs will also be considering offering Zaha a contract, as will others from Europe’s big leagues, and a move abroad is certainly a possibility. Palace boss Patrick Vieira is still hopeful that an agreement can be reached and that Zaha will stay with the Eagles.
“I don’t see any reason why not,” said Vieira. “The way he plays and shows passion to win games, the way he cares about the fans and club, I still believe there is a chance to keep him at the club. That is going to be his decision (to make). If there are options and he takes them it will be a sad moment but we will have to respect it. He may want to stay here and try to take the club to a different level and build something the fans will always remember. It’s still a couple of games and a couple of months before thinking about that (the contract situation) and the way that he’s conducting himself the way he trained, his only focus is about helping the football club, helping the team to win games and to score.”
Zaha has been a key player for Palace over the years, helping them avoid relegation on numerous occasions and even leading them to an FA Cup final in 2016. He has also been a regular for Ivory Coast at international level, scoring 14 goals in 67 appearances.
If Zaha does leave Palace in the summer, it will be interesting to see where he ends up. Arsenal and Chelsea are both in need of attacking reinforcements, while other clubs across Europe could also be tempted by his talents. Whatever happens, it seems likely that Zaha will continue to be a key player at whichever club he joins next.