Arsenal have made their first approach for £80million-rated target Wilfried Zaha.
The Gunners have opened talks with Crystal Palace about a swoop for their No 1 target but Sportsmail understands an official bid is yet to be tabled.
But Arsenal have made it clear they value Zaha at around £40million – half of Palace’s valuation.
Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha has asked the club to allow him to join Arsenal this summer
With that in mind, a deal appears a long way off despite the player’s desperation to leave for the Emirates.
Sportsmail understands Zaha has informed his club of his desire and urged them to reach an agreement with the club he supported as a boy.
Palace have lost Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United in a deal worth over £50m and their position was that only one of their academy products would be allowed to leave.
Palace have already lost Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United and don’t want to lose Zaha
But winger Zaha, 26, is refusing to accept his chances of a move are over and remains determined to secure his own big-money switch from Selhurst Park.
Palace have put a huge £80m price tag on talisman Zaha, a figure which would put him out of Arsenal’s price range.
The Gunners have a starting budget of around £40m following their failure to qualify for the Champions League.
Price could be a stumbling block after Unai Emery’s Arsenal missed out on Champions League
That has left Zaha hoping that Palace chairman Steve Parish will lower the club’s demands to help make his dream switch a reality.
During negotiations for the Wan-Bissaka deal, Palace were unable to reduce or remove the clause that would require them to pay Manchester United 25 per cent of any profit should they sell Zaha.
That would only increase Palace’s determination to secure a huge fee for Zaha from Arsenal, who have held initial talks over a move, or any other club.
Zaha revealed his desire to move on in an exclusive interview with Sportsmail in a April