Ivorian forward, Wilfried Zaha returned to Crystal Palace following his involvement in the African Cup of Nations, but now he has confirmed that he wants to leave the club amid interest from Arsenal.
The 26-year-old forward made his feelings clear after returning to Palace following his participation in the Ivory Coast’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign.
The Eagles had earlier rejected a bid of £40m for Zaha from Arsenal earlier this month, but the Gunners are expected to raise their offer in the coming days.
Unai Emery has wanted to sign Zaha since he scored in Palace’s 3-2 win at the Emirates in April and he is the Gunners’ number one transfer target this summer.
However, Eagles boss Roy Hodgson made it clear earlier this week a deal with Arsenal for Zaha is a long way off, saying: “I don’t think Arsenal have actually made a bid that has come anywhere near our valuation.”
“I’m sure the player realises that if someone’s going to take him away from us, he’ll expect clubs to pay the market value. Until someone does that, there’s not much to discuss regarding Wilf.”
Zaha is not believed to have any personal issues with Hodgson or Palace, but is keen to prove himself at one of Europe’s biggest clubs following his disappointing spell with Manchester United between 2013 and 2015.
Arsenal is Zaha’s preferred destination, but he will still be keen to move to a bigger club even if a deal with the north London side cannot be agreed.
The Gunners have only made one signing this summer – young winger Gabriel Martinelli from Brazilian club Ituano – but appear close to making two more.
Photo credit: Sky Sports
By Olukayode Oniwinde
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