Given the talent Wilfried Zaha has already demonstrated in his time at Crystal Palace, and his potential to become one of the stars of English football, it’s no surprise that there are a plethora of teams interested in signing him. With that in mind, Spurs have tried to nudge ahead of their rivals by making the first bid for the player.
However there is plenty of time left in January, and Palace will know that leaving that bid on the table will encourage the other sides interested to make their move, driving up Zaha’s price-tag nearer the £15 million mark they would be expecting. Palace have also reportedly demanded that Zaha is loaned back to them for the rest of the season if he does make a January move, and they will no doubt be hoping that his presence will help them gain promotion.
Currently Palace sit third, two points off Hull in the automatic promotion spots. Given that, there’s little chance they would let Zaha leave the club for any fee if he wasn’t coming back to them on loan, as it could end their promotion bid at a stroke.
This is another factor that could play in Spurs favour, as rumours suggest they are the happiest to oblige this requirement of Zaha’s Premier League suitors. However if this was to become a deal-breaker, you’d expect the other sides interested to agree to Palace’s demands.
Much will be determined by Zaha’s own preference. Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal will give him the best chance of playing first team football next season, whilst Manchester United and Chelsea offer a better opportunity of competing for the biggest trophies. At 20, Zaha still has plenty of time on his side, but the decision he makes now will have a heavy bearing on his career.
The player also has yet to decide over which international side he will represent, as his outing for England came in a friendly meaning he could still opt to play for the Ivory Coast. All in all, 2013 will be a huge year for the player, and which domestic club he commits his future to is the first big decision for him to make.
image: © OliverN5