Premier League • England

Arsenal refuse to budge for bargain attacker signing despite former player’s transfer warning

Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha and Leicester playmaker James Maddison

Arsenal are continuing to look into a swoop for Crystal Palace attacker Wilfried Zaha, according to reports – but one ex-player thinks they need to look elsewhere.

Zaha is approaching the end of his contract with Crystal Palace, so could be available for free this summer. Having proven his Premier League quality, the Ivory Coast international will be an attractive player to pick up.

Arsenal have been mentioned as his potential next takers on a fairly frequent basis. They are looking for more depth out wide to ease the burden on Bukayo Saka.

According to an update from RMC Sport, Arsenal’s interest in Zaha remains intact. However, they face competition from French rivals Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain.

Marseille’s interest has already been made clear after they were offered Zaha’s services. But they might struggle to match the 30-year-old’s wage demands. Indeed, Zaha would have to make a compromise to join them.

PSG are obviously a stronger financial force, which might make them more of a threat in the battle for Zaha.

Crystal Palace remain interested in extending Zaha’s contract after enjoying his 455 appearances and 89 goals for the club to date. Yet at his age, this could be Zaha’s last chance to test himself again at a higher level.

Interestingly, RMC Sport also suggests a move to Chelsea could be on the cards for the former Man Utd winger.

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But Arsenal are ready to return to Champions League level next season, whereas Chelsea might miss out on European qualification altogether.

Therefore, there could be some benefits behind a transfer to Arsenal for Zaha. In spite of that, the club have been warned about why they should be looking at other options.

Zaha outside ideal Arsenal category

Former Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna has said in a recent interview with Sporting Post: “I don’t [think a move to Arsenal makes sense for Zaha].

“He’s 30 years old and whilst I love the player a lot and have always been a fan, Arsenal need to be focusing on signing players around 23 or 24 years old.

“There was a time when they were signing players even younger at 20, which is too young, but 23/24 is the perfect age they should be recruiting quality players at.”

Indeed, Arsenal already have a youthful squad. Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba are all under the age of 23 and have been very busy this season.

Adding some seniority might not be a bad idea, which the club acknowledged when they signed Jorginho in January, for example. Yet their young core has been the basis of their progress this season.

And in Zaha’s case, there might be a concern of whether or not he has left it too late to make the leap up to European level. Nevertheless, on a free transfer, several suitors will be thinking he is worth a go.

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