According to the BBC, £80m Crystal Palace attacker Wilfried Zaha wants to join Arsenal this summer while the club remain in talks to sign Kieran Tierney and William Saliba.
Unai Emery needs to strengthen throughout his squad this summer following a frustrating campaign and a new full-back, centre-back and winger should all be priorities – along with a box-to-box midfielder.
Zaha has been widely touted as a prime target and respected BBC journalist David Ornstein claims the 26-year-old wants out of Crystal Palace this summer and favours a move to Arsenal.
I think Zaha would be a superb addition to the squad as we lack any genuine width and he’d also provide another goal threat having contributed 10 goals and 5 assists for Palace last season.
However, any deal is going to be extremely difficult to pull off as the BBC claims Palace are reluctant to lose Zaha after agreeing to sell Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Man Utd and are demanding £80m for the attacker.
The Eagles failed to get a 25% sell-on clause removed from Zaha’s contract during negotiations with United for Wan-Bissaka so they are determined to get top dollar for their star man.
The BBC says Arsenal would have been confident of signing Zaha had we qualified for the Champions League but failure to do so has left Emery with only £45m to spend, so we’ll have to sell if we’re to raise enough money to afford the winger.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is put forward by Ornstein as our most sellable asset but I think it would be madness to sell our top scorer. The club are trying to sell the likes of Mesut Ozil, Shkodran Mustafi, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mohamed Elneny to raise extra funds but we’re struggling to find buyers.
Even if we could somehow get enough money together to afford Zaha, Emery still has other positions he needs to strengthen and the BBC have confirmed Arsenal remain in talks for Tierney and Saliba.
Emery seemingly wants to bring in another left-back and Tierney would be an excellent signing but Celtic are demanding over £20m having already knocked back a couple of lower offers so the Scottish international won’t come cheap.
The Saliba deal is interesting as we desperately need another centre-back and the 18-year-old is considered to be a top talent in France. However, widespread reports suggest Arsenal are willing to pay around £27m AND loan him back to Saint-Etienne for next season.
That would seem counter-productive to me as we need defensive reinforcements NOW so it would be insane to spend £27m of our tight budget on a player who wouldn’t even be available next season.
Let’s see how things progress as it should be a busy few weeks at the Emirates but I’d be delighted if we could sign Zaha, Tierney and Saliba [without the loan] this summer. Then we’d just need a midfielder and we’d be set for next season.