Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace

Premier League • England

Mourinho admiration revealed, as Roma make approach for Crystal Palace icon Wilfried Zaha

Wilfried Zaha playing for Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha is the subject of an approach from Roma, where Jose Mourinho is a major admirer, it has been revealed.

Every year it seems Crystal Palace fans must brace themselves for the potential departure of Zaha. He has scored 83 goals from 429 appearances across two spells at Selhurst Park. His last big move, to Manchester United, did not work out, but a feeling remains that he could cut it at a higher level now.

This summer, it is the turn of Roma to show an interest in luring Zaha away from Crystal Palace. As revealed by Tuttomercatoweb on Friday, the Serie A side have made contact over a potential deal for the forward.

The contact was with Zaha’s representatives, rather than Crystal Palace as a club. Therefore, there has been no official bid yet.

However, Roma’s interest in the Ivory Coast international is concrete. It has also been reported by Sky Sport Italia, who reiterate that former Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham manager Mourinho rates Zaha highly.

Mourinho is preparing for his second season in charge of Roma after ending their 14-year trophy drought a few months ago. He would like another attacker to support England international Tammy Abraham at Stadio Olimpico.

Before he can bid for Zaha, though, Roma will have to offload some of their current players. Nicolo Zaniolo is one high-profile player whom they could move on.

Once that happens, there may be further steps towards a deal with Palace. Zaha is only under contract with the Eagles for another 12 months, so they could be at risk of losing him.

Wilfried Zaha deserves step up

Zaha has done well to commit to Palace for as long as he has. His time with the club will have to come to an end at some point, though.

Moving abroad may be the next step in his career, which has been spent entirely in England so far. At Roma, he would also have European football on offer.

Crystal Palace look to cash in on Wilfried Zaha this summer

Crystal Palace are looking to cash in on club icon Wilfried Zaha this summer and want £50m

The presence of a manager like Mourinho there, with his own background in the Premier League, would help him with the transition, as Abraham can attest to.

Furthermore, if Roma use the same 3-5-2 formation that won them the Europa Conference League last season, Zaha could thrive as a supporting striker alongside the former Chelsea number nine.

Palace will be standing firm as usual, no doubt. But the next couple of months will be intriguing to see where their talisman’s future lies.

If Zaha departs, Palace have a few other attacking options. Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze can play on the wings; Odsonne Edouard, Jean-Philippe Mateta, Christian Benteke and Jordan Ayew can all operate centrally.

Young options like Luke Plange and Malcolm Ebiowei are also arriving ahead of the new campaign. It remains to be seen if they will be able to call Zaha a teammate.

READ MORE: Crystal Palace move ahead of Everton, Nottingham Forest in race for Morgan Gibbs-White