Arsenal make £40m bid for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha. Zaha wants to move to Arsenal— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) July 1, 2019
But things aren’t quite so simple, as the BBC’s David Ornstein is reporting that things are “getting predictably ugly”:
As per @SkyKaveh Arsenal have submitted opening bid for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha. No players offered yet as part of proposed deal. Will be rejected & is getting predictably ugly. As previously reported Zaha wants to join #AFC & Emery wants him but #CPFC want huge money— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) July 1, 2019
Given their budget of around £45m, no owner investment & targets for other positions also being pursued, Arsenal would need Crystal Palace to reduce the asking price and/or raise significant funds through sales, in addition to (normal) staggered payment structure #AFC #CPFC #Zaha— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) July 1, 2019
Arsenal aren’t in the best position to negotiate here in terms of leverage. Palace recently sold RB Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United for £50m, so they’re not in deep need for funds for the summer window. And they’ve reportedly put a £80m value behind Zaha, so this early bid certainly isn’t going to draw any sincere interest from Palace.
It’s a matter of balancing other moves. Arsenal could certainly raise the sufficient funds to make a more competitive bid without having to accede to Palace’s full demands, but it would require some sales elsewhere. And while part of that is a bit of a game of whack-a-mole, there’s also the question of whether or not it’s wise to invest as much in Zaha when a sale would likely deplete Arsenal’s offense anyway and when there are arguably bigger needs for Arsenal this window, like a solid defender or two.
These are just the beginning of negotiations. That things are getting “ugly” isn’t the worst set of circumstances. The bigger issue is that Arsenal are negotiating from a point of weakness in terms of financial leverage, timing and need.
Such is the cost of missing out on Champions League action.
(UPDATED at 6:22pm ET)
Per Neil Ashton (The Sun/Sky Sports), it sounds like Arsenal were trying to negotiate a lower fee based for up front payment: