Wilfried Zaha tells Crystal Palace he wants to leave now in search of Champions League football
- Wilfried Zaha met with chairman Steve Parish this week after season finished
- Winger wants silverware and chance to play in elite European competition
- Zaha hopes his plea will now prompt a summer transfer but he could cost £80m
- There is a resignation at the Eagles that they will struggle to keep hold of him
Wilfried Zaha has told Crystal Palace he wants to quit the club this summer in search of Champions League football.
Zaha met chairman Steve Parish this week following the conclusion of the Premier League season. And Sportsmail understands the winger confirmed to Parish directly that he is ready to move on.
Zaha outlined his ambition to challenge for trophies in an exclusive Sportsmail interview last month.
Winger Wilfried Zaha wants to leave Crystal Palace to play Champions League football
Palace want £80million for Zaha, which has left the Ivory Coast international worried he will be priced out of a move.
But Zaha hopes his plea will now prompt a summer transfer. The former Manchester United forward is keen to have his future resolved before Palace’s players return for pre-season and avoid the situation dragging on too long.
The south London club are acutely aware of the impact losing their 26-year-old talisman could have on the team.
The winger could command a fee of £80million and Palace would demand a large amount
However, there is resignation that they can no longer keep hold of Zaha and they are ready to listen to offers.
Palace will demand a huge fee for their prized asset as they look to replenish the squad to reduce the impact of Zaha’s exit.
It is thought they would prefer to invest the money in two to three players. Zaha’s exit is likely to mean right back Aaron Wan-Bissaka will stay.
Palace fear a supporter backlash if they sell Zaha and Wan-Bissaka this summer.
TIME TO GO – SPORTSMAIL’S EXCLUSIVE ON APRIL 19
By Adrian Kajumba
Wilfried Zaha revealed he is ready to leave Crystal Palace this summer.
In an exclusive interview with Sportsmail, Zaha put the big clubs on alert by outlining his ambitions to play for an elite side in the Champions League and challenge for trophies.
The 26-year-old former Manchester United winger said: ‘I’m too ambitious. And not ambitious just to play for a top club, but to win things at club level and with the Ivory Coast.
‘For me to be better, to achieve what I know I am capable of, I have to aim to play at the very highest level, to win trophies. I’m blessed to have come this far in my playing career. But I feel like there is so much more I have to offer.
‘I have to experience the Champions League. I just need the opportunity, that’s it. And I’ll do the rest.’
Palace fended off interest in talisman Zaha last summer, persuading him to sign a £130,000-a-week, five-year deal that made him their highest earner.
As a result, it is going to take a hefty offer, well above £50million, before Palace do business.
The Ivory Coast international feels it is now the right time to move on
But there is a growing feeling behind the scenes at Selhurst Park that this summer is the right time to let their best player leave — if the price is right. Palace previously sold Zaha to United for £10m in 2013 before bringing him back two years later.
Arsenal are big fans of Zaha, while the prospect of a return to Old Trafford has increased following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment as manager.
Zaha impressed Solskjaer when they worked together at Cardiff in 2014 — the player was on loan — and United have made signing a right winger their top priority.
Jadon Sancho tops United’s list but Borussia Dortmund’s ‘not for sale’ stance, plus rival interest from Paris Saint-Germain, represent considerable obstacles.
Zaha is also expected to have options abroad, including Inter Milan and Dortmund.
Chelsea — whose transfer plans are dependent on their appeal against a two-window FIFA ban — and Tottenham have been keen on Zaha in the past.