Dan Cook has claimed on the HLTCO podcast that Crystal Palace won’t likely be able to find a suitable Wilfried Zaha replacement if he was sold this late in the window, casting doubt over whether he will leave before Thursday’s deadline.
Earlier in the summer, Zaha had been heavily linked with a move away from Palace, but that talk appeared to have quietened down – until the weekend arrived and the winger wasn’t even in the Palace squad to face Manchester City.
That obviously raised a lot of questions and now reports have started to emerge about a possible move to Chelsea before Thursday’s deadline, although it remains to be seen if any sort of money could even tempt Palace into a sale.
Cook clearly doesn’t want Zaha to leave – but with not being enough time for Palace to find a replacement, he questioned whether Palace would be able to sanction his departure or whether a suitable offer would even arrive in the next few days.
He said: “I genuinely think going into this final couple of days of the window, the chances of us getting an offer of, say, £35m or £40m are incredibly slim.
“And even if say that offer does arrive for £35m on the Thursday, are we going to be able to replace him between then and the transfer deadline? Almost certainly not.”
Will Palace sell Zaha before Thursday?
TIF Thoughts on Zaha’s future…
It’s a very tough situation that Crystal Palace and Steve Parish find themselves in, as they will likely be reluctant to lose Zaha, but given the lack of time before the deadline arrives, any potential sale won’t likely be able to get the green light before a replacement can be found.
That said, you would imagine the Eagles will have had a contingency plan for a Zaha departure – although they could be deadset against allowing him to leave.
However, given Zaha now has less than 12 months left on his contract, this could well be the last time Palace can recoup any kind of serious money for the winger, as come January, he can sign a pre-contract with overseas clubs.
Therefore, Palace have to decide whether or not it’s worth losing Zaha next summer for nothing and spend plenty of time scouting a replacement, or bringing in some cash now and reinvesting immediately on someone that may perhaps be viewed as a panic buy.