Zaha saga still running as PSG weigh up Neymar alternatives

Crystal Palace
Wilfried Zaha still wants out of Crystal Palace.

The transfer window may have closed for Premier League clubs, but Crystal Palace still face a fight to keep hold of Wilfried Zaha.

The Eagles managed to fend off interest from Arsenal and Everton before the window shut for English top-flight clubs earlier this month but European teams can still make signings until September 2.

Reports in France indicate Paris Saint-Germain could make a move for Zaha if Neymar departs, with Barcelona and Real Madrid keen to snare the Brazilian.

A move back to La Liga is by no means a foregone conclusion, however, Barcelona are the frontrunners and are in discussions with PSG but it remains in the balance as to whether or not they can thrash out a deal.

Real’s interest seems to have cooled as PSG were not interested in Gareth Bale moving in the opposite direction as a makeweight, seemingly due to the Welshman’s wage demands.

Even if Neymar moves on, PSG could instead swoop for Juventus’ Paulo Dybala but an exit for Zaha still remains a possibility until that September 2 deadline passes.

Can Palace resist a bid?

The Selhurst Park club slapped an £80million price tag on Zaha amid the interest from the Gunners and Everton earlier in the summer and neither of the two Premier League clubs managed to match that figure.

Zaha has made no secret of his desire to play in the Champions League and that is something Arsenal and Everton were unable to offer – but French champions PSG can.

After the Premier League transfer window closed, it was suggested that Zaha and the Londoners had a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ that if a suitable offer was made from a club in the Champions League he would be allowed to move on.

Should PSG get close to Palace’s £80m valuation and Zaha is open to a move to the Parc des Princes, it would be hard for Palace to resist an offer, even though they cannot bring in a replacement until January.

Can Palace cope without Zaha?

Admittedly a bid from PSG at this stage doesn’t look particularly likely but until that September 2 deadline passes Palace won’t be able to rest easy as the stats underline just how important Zaha is to the team.

Incredibly, from the start of the 2017/18 Premier League campaign until August 15th this year Palace have lost every game where Zaha has not started.

With the Ivory Coast international in the first XI, Palace have a 41.4% win percentage and score an average of 1.48 goals per game.

Without him, the stats make for grim reading as Palace have lost all 10 of the games Zaha hasn’t started and they average just 0.4 goals per game.

The Eagles may find themselves in an incredibly tough position should PSG come calling.

If they reject a bid from Paris they run the risk of having an unhappy and unsettled player in the squad who feels promises have not been kept. If Zaha is sold, it may well be a case of damage limitation until the transfer window reopens in January.