t’s been widely reported that Arsenal saw an opening £40m offer rejected out of hand by Palace earlier this week with the Eagles valuing the 26-year-old at £80m. Given their valuation is double what we offered, many thought a deal was highly unlikely as many media outlets have claimed Emery only around £45m to spend this summer.
However, Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol has claimed Arsenal’s lack of budget is a smokescreen being used by the club to try and drive prices down during negotiations.
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.”
No doubt Arsenal chiefs will still try to drive a hard bargain as we’re the only top club interested in signing Zaha this summer and the player’s brother has gone public to confirm the winger is desperate to join his boyhood club.
Let’s see how that unfolds…