Arsenal continue to be keen on signing Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha but would probably need to sell star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to provide the Eagles’ £80million price tag.
The north London side have long held interest in bringing Zaha to the Emirate, though their hopes of getting the Ivory Coast international have taken a knock after Manchester United agreed a deal worth £50m for Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
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BBC Sport’s David Ornstein claims Palace are loathing to lose their two best players in one window and have hence slapped a mammoth price tag on Zaha to fend off suitors.
The £80m valuation would make Zaha the joint-ninth most expensive player ever, matching the fee Real Madrid paid to sign Cristiano Ronaldo from United back in 2009.
However, Gunners’ failure to qualify for the Champions League leaves them with a transfer budget of just £45m and will need to raise large funds in order to finance a move for Zaha.
The simplest way to do so would be to cash in on Aubameyang, who has reportedly got a £300,000-a-week offer to play in China – while United were also rather bizarrely believed to have an interest in him.
The possibility of losing last season’s top scorer would be a ‘major dilemma’ for Arsenal, though he has just turned 30 and only has two years more on his contract; Gunners bosses have earlier stressed that they would not let players run down their deals any more.
The Gabon striker hinted at a degree of controversy last week when he ‘liked’ an Instagram post that criticised the club and called boss Unai Emery a ‘puppet’.
Aubameyang scored 22 goals in the Premier League last season to claim a share of the Golden Boot, Zaha – who is four years younger – set up the same number of goals but only scored 10 times in what was the most prolific season of his career.
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Lucas Torreira is the only other Gunners player pulling the sort of interest needed to finance a move for Zaha, but Arsenal have no wish to sell him and do not consider him unhappy in England as some reports have alleged.
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago