Crystal Palace could reportedly be set to lose star man Wilfried Zaha in the near future, with doubts over whether the winger will sign a new deal at the club.
That’s according to journalist Tom Barclay – speaking to GIVEMESPORT – who suggested that the 29-year-old could depart on a free transfer next summer, despite the Eagles having reportedly offered him a bumper contract extension.
“The noises I’ve got, not to say that this is what’s going to happen, is that the most likely outcome at the moment is that he will leave on a free next summer. Obviously, he’d stand to make a lot of money from any move he would make with the signing-on fee and wages.
“Also, being a free transfer, he may finally get that move to an elite club, not to disparage Palace, which he’s pushed for many times over the years. That probably seems the most likely outcome at the moment.”
With the former Manchester United man’s current deal set to expire in June 2023, the Selhurst Park outfit are currently facing the very real prospect of losing their impressive talisman for nothing at the end of the season, with the player seemingly dreaming of joining a Champions League club.
As journalist Malik Ouzia suggested, the £34.2m-rated gem is a simply “irreplaceable” figure for the south London side, having been the leading presence at the club for a number of years under a succession of managers.
Having spent over a decade at the club across two spells – with a brief, unsuccessful stint at Old Trafford in between – the £130k-per-week star has racked up 87 goals and provided 73 assists in 435 games in all competitions, typically carrying the goalscoring burden season after season for the club.
That is evidenced by the fact that he has been the top-scoring player for Palace in each of the last two campaigns, while he has also started the new season in electric form with four goals in just five league games.
A dynamic attacking presence who can simply conjure something out of nothing, the Ivory Coast international is a truly rare gem and one that will prove almost impossible to replace were he to depart next year.
As such it would prove a big blow to see him head for the exit door, particularly were he to leave on a free, with the club having reportedly rebuffed an approach from Everton for around £70m plus just three years ago.
The decision to keep him has arguably paid off due to his stunning form since then, although it would no doubt be a real source of frustration for manager Patrick Vieira if his contract is allowed to run down, having passed up the chance to rake in such a mammoth fee.