Everton continue to be linked with Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha, with new reports surfacing the club are set to offer a fee that would smash their transfer record.
According to The Telegraph, the Toffees have told Palace they are willing to pay £60 million plus misfit striker Cenk Tosun, but now fear they could lose out to Chelsea in the race for his signature. The Daily Mail and the Mirror are covering the same story too.
It is also understood that Chelsea are prepared to bid for him, despite having a transfer ban for the windows this summer and next January. That move may suit Palace more as they would still be able to keep Zaha for the upcoming season and give them more time to prepare for his departure.
Arsenal have also made an offer for Zaha, 26, this summer, but their reported bid of £40 million fell well short of Palace’s supposed asking price of £80 million.
Should Zaha join Everton, though, the deal would easily surpass the £45 million paid by the Blues for Gylfi Sigurðsson in August 2017, which remains their record signing. He signed a five-year contract with the Eagles last summer, but has informed his boyhood club of his desire to leave before the window shuts on Thursday, August 8.
Tosun, meanwhile, was linked with a move to Palace even before Everton signed him from Besiktas in January 2018 for £27 million. But after scoring just nine goals in 43 Blues outings, and having struggled to adapt to manager Marco Silva’s more high-tempo style of play, he would be a likely candidate to leave Goodison Park this summer.
Should Zaha and Tosun swap clubs, their debuts could be against their former employers, as Palace and Everton meet at Selhurst Park on Saturday, August 10 to kick off the new campaign.
Editor’s Note -
There has been speculation that Everton have been dragged into this as a means for the player and his agent to force Arsenal’s hand with the Gunners being his boyhood club, but with so much chatter now coming from different sources about the Blues it’s hard to tell if the Toffees haven’t at least inquired about the forward.
Spending such a vast sum for just one player seems a bit superfluous to needs when Everton have multiple other areas that need strengthening, and the outlay of £60m would easily bring in two if not three Premier League quality players.
Per Understat, looking at the 2018-19 Premier League season, here are the xG+xA/90 stats for some Everton forwards and Zaha compared.
And in case you thought last season was an anomaly for Zaha, his career expected goals and assists per 90 minutes contribution is also 0.35, exactly the same. For £60m plus a player, we would be expecting much, much better than what the 26-year-old would bring.