According to Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol, Arsenal are willing to pay a club record £70m to sign Wilfried Zaha as we prepare to table an improved offer for the Crystal Palace attacker.
Arsenal’s interest in signing Zaha has been well reported this summer with Sky Sports claiming we saw an opening £40m offer knocked back by Palace – who value the winger at closer to £80m.
Many fans thought we were wasting our time chasing Zaha as he looked out of reach given it’s been widely reported that Unai Emery has been handed just £45m to spend on transfers this summer.
The boss needs to bring in a full-back, centre-back, midfielder and a winger before the start of the new season so it looked impossible for us to afford Zaha and be able to sign the three other players Emery is chasing.
However, Kaveh Solhekol has sensationally claimed that Arsenal are playing down their financial firepower to help lower asking prices during negotiations with selling clubs like Crystal Palace.
The Sky Sports reporter says Arsenal are actually willing to pay up to £70m to sign the Ivory Coast international and he expects an improved offer to arrive on Crystal Palace’s table soon.
He told Sky Sports:
“We know that Arsenal have made a bid of £40m and we know that Crystal Palace are not going to sell him for that kind of money. They are looking for at least double that if they decide to let him go.”
“People are expecting Arsenal to come in with another bid, and we have spoken to people involved in the negotiations and an improved bid has not been made yet. There is every expectation that Arsenal will make that improved bid.
“Interestingly, we have read that Arsenal’s transfer budget this summer, because they have missed out on the Champions League, is just £45m, plus what they can raise from selling players.
“We have kept reading that, £45m. People are thinking ‘why are Arsenal trying to sign a player who Crystal Palace are saying is worth £80m, when they only have £45m?’
“What I have been told is that it suits Arsenal that people think they only have £45m, because when they get into negotiations over a player, the selling club is going to think Arsenal don’t have much money.
“What I have been told is that this is a bit of a smokescreen and Arsenal can go up to £70m to buy Wilfried Zaha. £70m is the point at which they would walk away. A deal that would be worth £70m in total.
“We just have to take it with a pinch of salt that Arsenal only have £45m. They are one of the biggest clubs in the world. We are not talking about £300m for Neymar, this is £70m in total. I think Arsenal can do that.”
I must admit it would be a surprise if Arsenal do have £70m available to sign Zaha – not to mention the money needed to strengthen other areas of the squad – as we’ve constantly been told finances are tight after missing out on the Champions League.
Even if we can pay £70m for the 26-year-old then surely Arsenal would need to offload one of our key players to be able to complete proposed deals worth around £50m for Kieran Tierney and William Saliba as well?
I just don’t see us spending over £120m on three players without someone like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Alexandre Lacazette being sold to help fund the moves, and I think that would be a mistake. We need to add to our best players, not sell them!
It’s certainly going to be interesting to see how things develop but if we do spend £70m on Zaha then it would smash our transfer record of £56m that we paid for Aubameyang so it would be a huge outlay from the club.