Zaha seeks pay jump as big clubs show interest

Crystal Palace striker Wilfried Zaha during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Hull City at Selhurst Park in south London on Sunday (May 14).
Crystal Palace striker Wilfried Zaha during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Hull City at Selhurst Park in south London on Sunday (May 14).PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • Wilfried Zaha has told Crystal Palace he is willing to sign a five-year deal worth £110,000 (S$199,370) a week, after helping to secure the club's Premier League status for another season.

The 24-year-old winger has enjoyed his most productive season, scoring seven goals and providing nine assists. He was also voted Palace's player of the season.

His performances have caught the attention of Mauricio Pochettino, the Tottenham manager, while Arsenal and Manchester City are understood to have made contact with his representatives in recent weeks.

Steve Parish, the Palace chairman, insisted last month he was intent on resisting all offers for the former youth academy product, who was purchased from Manchester United in 2015 after moving to Old Trafford in 2012 for £10 million.

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Negotiations over a new contract for Zaha have begun, with Palace believed to be willing to offer a deal that would bring the Ivory Coast international in line with the club's best-paid player, Christian Benteke.

That would mean a significant increase on his salary of £60,000 a week but also add a hefty percentage to any potential transfer fee. Palace are thought to value Zaha at around £40 million under his current terms.

Meanwhile, Bournemouth aim to build on their highest league finish by making bids worth around £12 million and £20 million respectively for two of Chelsea's title-winning players, Nathan Ake and Asmir Begovic, once the season has finished.

Both have been on the fringes at the Blues, with the Bosnian custodian Begovic, 29, acting as Thibaut Courtois' understudy for two seasons since arriving from Stoke for £8 million.

The move for Ake is more complicated. The Dutch defender spent the first half of the campaign on loan at the Cherries and impressed after forcing his way into the side from mid-November, only for his displays to prompt Chelsea to recall him.

The player, like Begovic, is eager for more regular football and would be prepared to move on.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 19, 2017, with the headline 'Zaha seeks pay jump as big clubs show interest'. Print Edition | Subscribe