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What Arsenal target Wilfried Zaha has now told Crystal Palace | Football | Sport

Arsenal had a £40million bid rejected for Zaha earlier this month, with Crystal Palace demanding £80m. 

The Ivorian has been pivotal to the Eagles in recent seasons and Palace are insistent they will not lose Zaha for lower than their price tag.

But per Sky Sports reports, the Gunners’ hopes of landing the 26-year-old have been boosted now that the player has officially informed his suitors of his wishes to leave Selhurst Park.

That is after Zaha returned from international duty having been knocked out in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals with Ivory Coast, who lost on penalties to Algeria.

Speaking this week about Zaha’s future, Palace boss Roy Hodgson told Sky Sports: “I don’t think Arsenal have actually made a bid that has come anywhere near our valuation.

“I’m sure the player realises that if someone’s going to take him away from us, he’ll expect clubs to pay the market value.

“Until someone does that, there’s not much to discuss regarding Wilf.”

Unai Emery – who has only made one summer signing so far in Gabriel Martinelli – is keen to strengthen out wide and has been linked with Ryan Fraser, Yannick Carrasco and Everton Soares.

Sky Sports claim Emery has made Zaha his top target and has been keen on the former Manchester United man since Palace beat Arsenal 3-2 at the Emirates in April, a game in which the player scored the visitors’ second goal.

Arsenal are now expected to make a renewed push to sign the attacker, though it remains to be seen whether Arsenal have the finances to push through a deal.

It is believed Emery is only working with a budget of around £45m this summer and he is also working on deals for Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney and Saint-Etienne centre-back William Saliba.

The north London outfit faced late competition from rivals Tottenham for Saliba but are now understood to have reached a deal which will see them pay an initial transfer fee of around €33m (£29.8m) with €7m (£6.3m) in add-ons.

Saliba will be loaned back to the French club for the coming season but Arsenal will only pay his fee in instalments to prevent the deal eating too much into Emery’s budget for this summer.

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