£70million Zaha pleads to be allowed make Everton switch
Everton are expected to make a vastly improved deadline-day offer to Crystal Palace in the hope of signing Wilfried Zaha, after the forward put in a transfer request.
The offer could be as high as £70million - plus striker Cenk Tosun, possibly on a permanent deal rather than a loan as initially proposed. Everton may even consider adding a second player to the deal depending on whether Palace are willing to negotiate. They are already signing midfielder James McCarthy on a three-year contract, but at present that would appear to still be a separate deal.
Palace have signed midfielder Victor Camarasa, who spent the previous campaign at Cardiff City, on a season-long loan with an obligation to buy after a certain number of appearances from Real Betis.
Everton hope that a new, improved offer, which would be their third submission, for Zaha will come closer to matching Palace's asking price of £100m which - despite claims they would accept less - the club say has not wavered all summer.
Zaha is eager to leave Palace and decided to submit the transfer request after Everton made an offer of £30m - £25m plus £5m in add-ons - for Alex Iwobi. That bid was turned down by Arsenal, who are nevertheless prepared to sell the 23-year-old Nigeria international. Arsenal have suggested a fee of £40m and it is possible, but unlikely, that Everton may try to sign Iwobi as well as Zaha.
Zaha believes that Palace are now proving unreasonable in their negotiations, given the scale of the offer Everton are proposing, and that he should be allowed to leave by chairman Steve Parish. Zaha argues that Parish told him he would not stand in his way if an acceptable bid was made, but Palace will argue that has not been received for their star player.
Palace, who are desperately trying to sign a striker, have maintained that Zaha will not be sold unless they receive an offer that is too good to turn down, especially as they have already sold Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United for £50m . It was felt it would be one or the other of Palace's prized assets who would leave.
Palace argue that Everton have not yet come close to making an appropriate offer and will also claim that the latest bid will arrive too late for them to sign suitable replacements.
Zaha arrived back on Monday to begin pre-season training after taking a holiday following his participation in Ivory Coast's Africa Cup of Nations campaign. He has grown increasingly frustrated at the impasse over his future.
Marco Silva, the Everton head coach, wants Zaha but is also keen to make sure that he secures an attacker who can score goals from wide positions if he does not sign. Hence the interest in Iwobi, which follows on from bringing in teenager Moise Kean from Juventus for up to £27.5m .
If Zaha, who had hoped to move to Arsenal earlier in the window before they signed his international team-mate Nicolas Pepe, does not go to Everton it will not end his desire to leave Palace. The window stays open until the beginning of September for other European leagues and Zaha has attracted interest from Germany and Italy.
Everton's other deadline-day priority remains a central defender. They have given up hope of signing Kurt Zouma, who spent a successful season on loan with them from Chelsea, after being told that he will be a part of Frank Lampard's plans. (© Daily Telegraph, London)