According to an exclusive report via Inews, Arsenal have not given up their pursuit of Wilfried Zaha, even though they are set to sign winger Nicolas Pepe
Pepe, 24, will join the Gunners from Lille for a club record £72million, but they are still keen on Crystal Palace winger Zaha if they can agree a deal that represents good value for both clubs.
Arsenal have already had a £40m bid rejected for Zaha, 26, but Palace are adamant that, with four years remaining on his current contract, he is worth at least £60m.
Everton also had a £55m bid rejected for Zaha, but the player is said to favour a move that means he can remain in London.
Arsenal were already in a strong negotiating position after Zaha’s brother, Judicael, spoke publicly at the beginning of July describing it as his “dream” to join Arsenal and asking Palace to let him leave.
‘Dream to play for Arsenal’
“Wilfried will always hold Crystal Palace and their fans in the highest regard and all the support they have given means the world to him,” Judicael told Sky Sports News. “It is my brother’s dream, though, to play for Arsenal.
“Given all that Wilfried has given to Crystal Palace to help them remain a Premier League club, I hope Palace will be able to see their way to agreeing a deal with Arsenal that allows Wilfried to realise his dream of playing European football for the club he has supported since childhood.”
Arsenal have strengthened their position even further by signing Pepe, Zaha’s Ivory Coast team-mate, one of the brightest forward talents in Europe, and could test Palace’s resolve as the summer transfer window nears its end.
Pepe has finalised a five-year deal this week with Arsenal and could be announced tomorrow as the Gunners have a game against Angers later today.
With the signing of Pepe, It does seem very unlikely that Emery will sanction another big move to add to the already crowded looking plethora of options we have upfront. The defence should be our focus now and a move for a defender seems a more likely move at the moment. We are currently being linked with a host of names with forerunners including Samuel Umtiti and Daniele Rugani.
Coupled with the fact that there has been no outgoings as well(either upfront or at the back), It gives the Zaha signing very slim chance of even happening. It has to be noted though that from the start of the transfer window, the Ivorian was Arsenal’s number one target and Emery has had his eyes out for him since last season.
Josh Kroenke did say in his interview when quizzed about signings “I would say be excited” and it’ll be the most memorable transfer window in ages if Arsenal still manage to pull a cat out of the hat on Zaha as well.