Everton chiefs are ready to make their move to beat Arsenal to the signature of Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha, according to the Daily Mail.
The Toffees board are understood to have made contact with the Selhurst Park outfit to open a line of communication, following reports that Marco Silva was keen to finally acquire the Ivorian winger he had identified as a player of intense interest following his arrival on Merseyside.
It was believed Director of Football Marcel Brands was considering a ‘substantial’ bid to sign the sought-after attacker, with meetings at Goodison Park leading to speculation of a bid being in the offing.
The Daily Mail now understand the Blues are willing to offer £55million to land the 26-year-old, who was involved in 20 goals (ten scored, ten assisted) during the recent Premier League term.
A successful purchase in that region would elevate Zaha to the position of Everton’s most expensive purchase, eclipsing the potential £50million deal agreed with Watford for Richarlison last summer and the £45m outlay handed to Swansea City for Gylfi Sigurdsson in 2017.
However, Palace accepting a £55million bid would be more than a surprise, given the Eagles recently rejected Arsenal’s advances with a £40mllion approach, as they see the Ivory Coast international as a player they can demand as much as £80m to £100million for.
Palace are in a commanding situation regarding Zaha’s future as they tied the forward down to a £130,000-a-week contract last November, which contractually commits the 9-cap international to the South London side until 2023.
Everton are understood to be serious with their interest in the winger, and will return to Selhurst Park with an improved offer if – or rather when – our £55m approach is rebuffed.
Sources with knowledge of our interest are claimed by the Daily Mail to have suggested we are willing to pay as much as £70million for the 5 ft 9 ace if a bidding war ensures, given Arsenal are believed to be preparing an improved offer.
Palace Chairman Steve Parish is not expected to stand in Zaha’s way if a suitable offer falls on his desk, having informed the 26-year-old that he can leave if the price in question suits the Eagles.